The Rivers State Government is to clamp down on private primary and secondary schools it considers illegal and below standards by shutting them down until they are brought to the required and recommended standard permitted in the state.

In light of this, the shutting down of 437 schools which were denied accreditation for not meeting its guidelines on the operation of private primary and secondary schools in the state is about to begin in earnest.

Permanent Secretary of the State Ministry of Education, Dr. Dagogo Adonye-Hart disclosed this while briefing Zonal Directors of the ministry in Port Harcourt last Friday.

It would be recalled that the committee for Accreditation and Approval of Private Schools chaired by Prof. Ozo-Mekuri Ndimele set up by Governor Nyesom Wike had submitted a comprehensive report to the State Government.

Adonye-Hart called on the Zonal Directors to give letters of non-accreditation to the proprietors of the affected schools and urged them not to make a problem with any proprietor who fails to comply with the directive of government.

He explained that of the 2, 511 schools assessed by the Ministry, 1,415 schools were accredited (approved), while 659 were given interim approval, adding that in line with Government’s directive, the Ministry has written to the West African School Certificate (WASC), the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and National Examination Council (NECO) not to do business with those unapproved schools.

“What we expect you to do, the Zonal Directors is to go with a letter; the letter will be in duplicate. Don’t make any trouble, don’t quarrel with anybody. Any school that proves stubborn, report them to us; we know what to do.

Governor Wike of Rivers State

“Serve them those letters, let them acknowledge receipt. Let them take the original and give you back the acknowledged copy which you will bring back to the Ministry, then we will seal the school.

“2, 511 schools were visited, 1,415 were accredited (approved). Then the ones that were given interim approval are 659, while 437 were denied approval. So we are going to be dealing with these 437 schools. We will swing into action and shut down the schools that were declined approval.

That is basically why we are here today,” he stated
He, however, warned parents and guardians against sending their wards to any of the 437 schools that were denied approval, noting that they are not recognized by the State Government.

The Permanent Secretary called on parents to look out for the sticker from the Ministry at the gate of schools attended by their children, which, he said, is an indication that such school is not recognized by the government.

“I want to also use this opportunity to talk to our parents and guardians that none of them should send any of their children or wards to these 437 schools because they are not recognized by the State”, the Permanent Secretary said.