Kingsley Madaki, Abuja
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Administration has begun a clampdown on illegal private schools in the territory.
Leading a staff of Education Secretariat on the exercise at Durumi 3 Community where the closure of illegal schools took-off, Tuesday, the acting Secretary of the Education Secretariat, Mrs. Naomi Bilkis, said sensitisation towards the closure of illegal in the FCT has been on and that they decided to embark on the exercise at a time when schools would have concluded their end of year examinations and preparing to vacate so that parents would have enough time to look for alternatives.
She said most private schools in the city are not registered.
She said that the FCT Administration has already put in place mechanism to avoid a repeat of the situation in the future as zonal officers have been mandated to monitor private schools closely to ensure that all those shut were not reopened.
She said that despite the challenge of high influx of people to the FCT, causing a rise in the demand of schools, the FCT Administration was working hard to provide room in approved schools for all children.
According to Bilkis, the situation amounts to attitudinal problem for parents to think that all private schools were better than public schools.
She advised parents to use the holiday period to enroll children in approved private and public schools.
“So far 500 schools have been identified to closure”, she disclosed
Director Quality Assurance, Ayuba Didam, said intending proprietors were supposed to seek approval before establishing schools so as to ensure monitoring and quality control.
Head teacher of the one of the affected schools in Durumi 3 Community, Superstar International School, told journalists that the school has been operational for eight years.
He said they operated nursery to primary three.
However, his pupils were found in improperly lit and overcrowded class rooms facing each other in an open zinc building.
Another school closed down, Rit Success International School, was located near a public school.
An affected parent who spoke with journalists said the impression they have was that the public schools are not serious and since they want the best for their children, they enrolled them in private schools.