The Ebonyi Ministry of Education on Wednesday closed 17 schools in Abakaliki and its environs.
The schools were closed by the monitoring team of the ministry for either being illegal or below acceptable standards.
The team had undertaken an assessment tour of the affected schools.
Other reasons cited for closing down the schools included: operating without necessary approval by the ministry, operating with substandard structures/ facilities and over population.
The affected schools include: Divine Favour Academy, Abakaliki; Shekinah International Nursery School, Abakaliki and Excel Secondary School, also in Abakaliki.
Others are: Triumphant Nursery and Primary School, Nkaliki; Divine Favour Academy, Onuebonyi and Good Shepherd Secondary School among others.
In addition to his school being closed, the proprietor of Divine Favour Academy, Onuebonyi, Joseph Ogbaga, was also arrested for obstructing the activities of the monitoring team.
The Good Sheperd secondary school is owned by Joseph Eze, brother and classmate to Chibueze Agbo, the state Commissioner for Education.
Mr. Agbo said that the closure showed that the government is determined to enhance the standard of education in the state through qualitative teaching.
“The closure of my brother’s school for instance, shows the sincerity of the government in ensuring that only schools that meet required standard were allowed to operate,” he said.
Mr. Agbo directed the pupils and students of the affected schools to go home and inform their parents and guardians that the schools had been closed for being substandard.
“Your parents should enroll you in approved schools in the town and across the state, as anyone found conducting academic activities in the affected schools would be arrested and prosecuted.”
He, however, said that the schools would be reopened if they meet the stipulated requirements and provide facilities, which include adequate classrooms, laboratories and recreational facilities among others for the students.
Dorothy Chilaka, proprietor of one of the affected schools, said that the insufficient number of classrooms in the school was due to lack of space in the premises.
“I will, however, do everything possible to meet the stipulated requirements, as I had invested much in running the school,” she said.