The Zamfara State Government has withdrawn operational licenses of about 500 private schools basically to monitor the activities of private schools and to bring sanity to the sub-sector in the state.
Speaking to newsmen on Wednesday, the commissioner of education, Dr Ibrahim Abdullahi Gusau said, the government decided to monitor the activities of private schools in the state because they don’t have the exact number of private schools operating in the state.
According to him, not even private schools’ umbrella association has the number.
He added that not having records of the private schools was attracting loss of revenue to the state government.
“There could be some donor agencies who may want to have statistics of public or private schools in the state.
“We have no actual data on the private ones and we felt that one way to regulate them is to revoke all their licenses so that we issue fresh licenses to most deserving ones.
“We have the national minimum standard for establishing a private school that guides the ministry and every proprietor of a school must meet that standard before his or her school is registered.
“And we will start making fresh registration for such schools now,” Gusau added.
He added that the state ministry of education had no operational guidelines for private schools and that had been the trend since before the coming of Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle’s administration.
He said that for the meantime the state government would domesticate the guidelines issued by the federal ministry of education.
You find a situation whereby someone can just wake up and convert his house to school and that person would not put into cognizance the necessary facilities needed for such schools to run effectively.
“Some times they employ school dropouts as teachers and I can tell you that this practice has been ongoing in Zamfara State for many years and the trend must change now”
“Private schools are part of the team for the progress of education in the state.
“The sector is too important to be ignored and we will do all within our powers to bring sanity and some semblance of probity and accountability into the system”
“We have checked our records and we could not find any private school that received an operational license from the state government.
“If you are talking about the established criteria there are not more than five or six schools that are qualified to go strictly by the set standard.
“But we will not follow the procedures strictly we have to be a bit liberal so that we allow those that are showing some signs of seriousness to adapt to the changes so that they can evolve and develop very well”
“Public may be interested to know some of the established criteria set for these private schools and they include sports facilities, school garden, animal unit, fish pond, clinic, registered health personnel, quality teaching staff and many of these.
“Now think about it how of these schools fulfilled these criteria. If you want to establish a private school but you are welcome you must follow due process,” he added.