Scepticism has finally given way to trust and confidence as proprietors move to obey the directive of the Lagos State Government that private schools operators should register their institutions irrespective of their accreditation status.
The registration records of the State Ministry of Education Information Management System charged with the responsibility in six education districts revealed that 6083 schools have registered. A breakdown shows that districts 1&11 recorded 1587 and 1089, districts 111&1V have 676 and 1070, while districts V&VI have 1038 and 623 registered schools respectively.
Commenting on the development during a tour of the districts to monitor the level of compliance with the exercise, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mr Adesina Odeyemi, who was obviously not satisfied with the compliance level, lamented the usual attitude of our people to wait till the last minute before making efforts to comply with directives.
Explaining the motive of the State Government for issuing the directive, Mr Odeyemi noted that the exercise was strictly meant to gather data that will avail the government opportunity to know all the education service providers in the State, visit them, monitor their activities to ensure compliance with quality assurance regulation of schools below tertiary level and take steps to improve learning outcomes.
He implored proprietors who were yet to take advantage of the opportunity availed by government to do so and reassured that the government was not interested in closing down schools but out to help them grow.
Odeyemi however warned that those who fail to register are inadvertently saying that their schools have not attained the specified standard for operation; as such government may not have an option but to come down hard on those who refuse to comply with the directive.
Fielding questions from media men after the exercise, the Permanent Secretary expressed optimism that many proprietors would still comply with the directive before expiration of the exercise.
Responding to questions on the likelihood of extending the deadline as requested by many proprietors in order to enable their colleagues, who are away presently, participate in the exercise, he said he could not foreclose it, rather would report his findings to the authorities who will give further directives.