Following the submission of report by Committee for Accreditation and Approval of Private Schools in Rivers State to the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezebuwon Wike on Monday, some private school operators whose schools did not participate in the accreditation process and others not accredited have started removing signposts in front of their school premises to avoid clampdown and closure by Rivers State government.
Our reporter who went to the Old Port Harcourt Township, Diobu and D-Line, area of Port-Harcourt on Tuesday reports that apart from the removal of signposts, the school authorities also erased alphabetical drawings in fronts of their school premises. Also, some religious bodies which operate schools within their premises left only signposts of the worship centres, our investigation revealed.
A parent spotted by our reporter taking her child to a private school which asked pupils and students to be in mufti in a chat with this tabloid argued that adequate attention was not given to nursery and primary school pupils in public schools compared to private institutions. The parent, Esther Woke, stated that many guardians are not willing to send their wards to Government schools due to this singular reason.
She asserted that in a time when social vices have crept into schools, proper attention ought to be given to pupils and students, which may not be seen in public schools even though they have qualified teachers.
In the meantime Governor Wike had revealed that all schools denied accreditation would not be allowed to function in the state and that the state government will look at those that were approved.
He made the assertion when Chairman of the Committee, Prof-Ozo-Mercury Ndimele led other members to submit their report to him on Monday at the Government House in Port-Harcourt.
Our investigations revealed that Rivers State has about 5,000 private schools and that about 2,651 are registered at the Office of the Secretary to the State Government.
The Rivers State government had two months ago set up a committee charged with responsibility of ensuring private schools' compliance to standard befitting a modern school before approval should be given to such schools. Three committees were set up in the three senatorial districts of the state to ensure adequate monitoring.
Some of the criteria for approval include a playing field for students, qualified teachers with certificate in Education, well-equipped laboratory for science students, and computer workshop among others.