The Ogun State Government on Friday announced the closure of 160 schools operating illegally in the state.

The Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Segun Odubela, said this in a statement issued in Abeokuta at the kick-off of the second phase of the clampdown exercise.

Mr. Odubela recalled that the first of the five cardinal programmes of the Amosun administration is the provision of affordable qualitative education, adding that “in addition to abolishing school fees and providing free education, including the distribution of free text books and infrastructural materials to public schools, the government has a statutory duty to regulate education being provided in the private sector.”

He assured that the government is committed to putting a stop to the menace of illegal schools “because some people who are not qualified to provide education or whose premises do not meet the required standard are insistent on operating illegal schools as a money making venture.”

Lamenting that such operators are damaging the future of children of Ogun State with their selfish objectives, the commissioner disclosed that the 160 illegal schools were staffed by persons with no formal education beyond primary level.

“In one case, a proprietor housed children within her provision store, regularly leaving the children to attend to customers. Others were found operating in dangerous uncompleted buildings and other unsuitable premises,” he stated.

While revealing that government officials are now being deployed to confirm the registration status of every private school in the state, Mr. Odubela said those unregistered, but deemed capable of meeting the state’s standards would be given the opportunity to regularise their status while those considered not capable of meeting the requirements would be closed immediately.

He added that the timing of the exercise had been planned to minimise disruption to the children, such that by the end of the current term, every school status would be known and published, allowing parents to make informed choices for their children.

He said Ogun State, being the cradle of modern education, would not be associated with sub standard education.

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