Written by Austine ELEMUE

Private schools must secure pupils –FCTA

Following the death of school pupils in Lube, the Federal Capital Territory Administration has directed owners of private schools to make security and safety of school children under them a priority. 

Secretary for Education Secretariat, Sen. Isah Maina, gave this warning on behalf of the Administration during a meeting with owners of private schools under the aegis of National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools, NAPPSS, in his office. 

The meeting which was convened following a recent private school bus fire incidence that claimed the lives of three pupils was intended to find ways of improving the delivery of education services in the FCT, especially ensuring the safety of school children in schools. 

Maina, who noted that as parents “we know what is good for our children”, charged private school operators to prioritize security of the children, regretting that businessmen like to cut corners in order to maximize profit. 

“If you do not have enough resources to meet up with all the guidelines for establishing private schools, leave it. We will review the guidelines for private schools and ensure the loop holes are blocked and the right things done at all times in all situations. 

“Let us emphasize the issue of safety and security of children in our schools. Let us collaborate to provide excellent education to our children because if we do not do that, they will turn out a burden to us in the future," he warned. 

Maina, while directing that only the Department of Quality Assurance was permitted to visit the private schools for monitoring and compliance, pledged to liaise with FCT Internal Revenue Services to streamline payment of taxes for the schools. 

 

He, therefore, placed ban on registration of new private schools in the FCT until the new guideline, which will incorporate the new directives and changes in order to address the many complaints, while stating that the erring school will remained closed. 

President, NAPPSS FCT Chapter, Samira Jibir, who spoke earlier hailed the FCTA for giving them a listening ear, adding that her association was determined to ensure excellence in education in the FCT. 

Jibir, however, revealed that the private schools perpetrating unprofessionalism, including the latest school whose school bus led to killing of three children, were not members of NAPPSS. 

She listed other challenges of NAPPSS to include multiple taxation, lack of titles for school lands and called on the Administration to harmonize all taxes, make the Department of Quality Assurance formidable for adequate monitoring and inspection of private schools.

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