From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt
As primary and secondary schools across the nation resumes for a new term today, the Commissioner for Education in Rivers State, Prof Kaniye Ebeku has declared that the ban on unapproved schools by the state Ministry of Education persists.
It would be recalled that the Rivers state Governor, Nyesom Wike, had set up a Committee for accreditation and approval of Private schools; a move designed to improve quality education in the state.
The Committee, led by Professor Ozo Mekuri Ndimele, in its report denied accreditation and approval to 437 schools across the state which did not meet set requirements for the operations of private schools.
Subsequently, the state government directed that all schools denied approval should discontinue operations.
Speaking on the resumption of schools, Prof Ebeku said the directive on the ban of unapproved schools still subsists. He advised parents and guardians not to patronize unapproved schools for the wards, adding that such schools are illegal and should not resume.
He warned that anyone caught operating unapproved schools in the state will face appropriate sanctions of the law.
He said “In accordance with approved academic calendar, all public and private schools in Rivers State will resume for normal academic activities on Monday January 6, 2020 for the second term 2019/2020 academic session. However, it should be noted that all unapproved private schools are banned and should not resume anymore. Parent and guardians are by this notice reminded that they should send their wards to approved private schools.
“For the avoidance of doubt, private school proprietors who violate the ban will face appropriate sanctions of law”.
Prof Ebeku further disclosed that the Rivers State government has made adequate provisions for the maintenance and functioning of public schools in the state, and cautioned Heads of public primary and secondary schools in the state not collect any fee from pupils and students, stating that any Principal or Head teacher that violates the directive will face appropriate disciplinary measures.
“The government of Rivers State led by Governor Nyesom Wike has made adequate provisions towards the maintenance and functioning of all public schools within the state. accordingly, a principles and head teachers of all public schools are hereby reminded that no form of fees are authorised to be collected in the public schools within the state. Any teacher or principal that violate this will face appropriate disciplinary measures”.