Building collapse: Many schools existing without our knowledge – Lagos govt warns parents

March 21st, 2019

The Lagos State Ministry of Educa­tion on Wednesday warned owners of unreg­istered private schools operating in the state to immediately regularise their documents or face sanction.

Mr Adesegun Ogundeji, the Director, Public Af­fairs Unit of the ministry, gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, on efforts being made by the state govern­ment to ensure safety in schools.

Ogundeji said that the ministry was stepping-up its monitoring team in schools across the state.

He said that operating il­legally without due reg­istration and compliance with the rules and guide­lines for establishment of private schools is an of­fence.
Ogundeji said that school owners and proprietors operating illegally would be made to face the law.

He warned such schools to regularise their reg­istration by visiting the ministry in Alausa or go­ing to the nearest educa­tion district.

“Many private school owners and proprietors are hiding; they do not want to register their schools, and that is against the law.
“We have told them many times to come up and reg­ister their schools.

“In 2017, we made a lot of efforts on it; we told them to just go to their educa­tion district and write down the name of their school so that we can send monitoring teams to eval­uate the environment.

“Quite a number of them came up, but many did not turn up; they prefer to operate in the state in hid­ing and illegally.
“We told them this is not about tax or levies; it is about doing the right thing and following due process. We just want to help you grow, we just want to help you obey rules and regulations in the state.

“There are rules and guidelines for establishing private schools and there are also sanctions and consequences.

“The ministry has stepped up its monitoring team in all schools in the state.

“Any private school op­erating from hiding will have itself to blame; such schools should come out to register and be ap­proved,” he said.

According to him, there is a document titled ‘Guide­lines for Public and Pri­vate Schools in Lagos State’ published by the State Ministry of Edu­cation, Revised Edition 2016’ , which is given to all school owners to guide their activities, stressing that it is free of charge.

“With this document, school owners will be guided on all they need to know before establishing a school, registration pro­cess, how to go about it and the steps to be taken.
“The process of register­ing a creche is different from nursery, primary and secondary school, so you can choose any one of your choice,” he said.

He pointed out that there are four steps for register­ing a school which include name search, site inspec­tion, approval inspection and registration.

Explaining the process of registering a school, Ogundeji said the first step was name search, adding that school owner would submit three dif­ferent proposed names so that there will be no clash of identity.

On site inspection, he said officials of the minis­try would visit the school to know where the school wants to operate from, inspect the facilities on ground and make recom­mendations and correc­tion where needed, before proceeding to the next stage.

“For instance, if a school proposes to operate with­in a residential building where there are other ten­ants or occupants, we will not allow it.
“It is not safe for the chil­dren because anybody can pretend to be visiting a tenant, thereby kidnap­ping a child or endan­gering the life of a pupil.

“We will inspect the place where you intend to place the fire extin­guisher, playground and other facilities and ad­vise you where neces­sary.
“We have to prevent all these things from hap­pening, we don’t want anybody to endanger the life of any child.

“That is why school own­ers should register with us from the moment they conceive the idea of a school; you must be ready to comply with the laid down guidelines.
“After complying with all our recommendations and suggestions, we will now proceed to do ap­proval inspection, to verify your compliance. It is at this stage that you can purchase a form for final registration and ap­proval,“ he said.

The spokesman called for attitudinal change and voluntary compli­ance to rules and regula­tions among the people, to rid the system of un­professional practices.

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