The Delta State Government says it will close 800 illegal primary and secondary schools operating in the state.
The Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Patrick Muoboghare, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Asaba.
Mr. Muoboghare said that the closure became necessary to improve the standard of education because the affected schools did not meet the conditions for effective teaching and learning.
He said that for any school to be allowed to operate in the state, the environment must be conducive for teaching and learning while the teachers must have requisite qualifications.
The commissioner explained that the state government would soon publish the names of recognised schools where parents/guardians were expected to enrol their children/wards.
Mr. Muoboghare, a professor, alleged that some of the illegal private secondary schools were engaged in public examination racketeering, and added that the state government was poised to stop the practice.
He said the ministry was collaborating with the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO) in that regard.
The commissioner said that any school not recognised by government would not write WAEC examination in the state.
He decried the attitude of some parents who patronised the illegal schools, and urged them to desist.
He further advocated strong partnership between government and the private sector to improve the qualitative of education in the country.
He said that it was absolutely impossible for government to provide free and qualitative education to the citizenry because of the enormous resources required.
“The cost of running schools is very high and not until there is partnership between government and the private sector, the country’s quality of education will hardly improve,” he said.
He suggested that establishment and running of schools should be left in the hands of passionate and committed individuals, religious bodies and other concerns for a better performance.
The commissioner added that while running of schools should be left entirely in the private hands, government should assist in the payment of school fees.
He further canvassed for a complete boarding system in the country’s secondary schools as a way of instilling morals and discipline in the youth.
Mr. Muobohhare, however, noted that the measure required huge resources and time to accomplish, but added that it was imperative.
“If we want our children to have morals, we must return to boarding system,’’ he remarked.