The Commissioner for Education Prof.Ngozi Chuma -Udeh has called for uniformity, continued teachers’ upgrade and active participation of Owners of Private Schools Association of Nigeria(OPSAN) in all educational activities in the state. The call came while addressing OPSAN at the State Secretariat, Complex, Awka.
Speaking Prof.Chuma- Udeh noted that it is time for private schools owners to be actively involved in the mission and vision of the ministry in order to create uniformity of purpose and deliver on the mandate given by His Excellency,Governor Chukwuma Soludo. “Education is very crucial because a nation is as great,strong , gigantic and powerful as its learned citizens.”
“The learned citizens are a reflection of the schools they attended,” she added
She explained that every sector of the education family is important and all need to come together,run with one voice to give Anambra students the highest form of education in line with current school curriculum. She expressed displeasure that curriculum used in most private schools were not in line with government stipulations,a situation that had led to sub standard learning in most pupils of private schools. She urged the association to live up to expectations as government will embark on impromptu fact finding visits and will not hesitate to close down schools that are not adhering to the curriculum stipulated by government.
Prof.Ngozi Chuma – Udeh decried the fact that most teachers in private schools do not have the minimum teaching qualification. She stressed the fact that the minimum teaching qualification is National Certificate of Education,( NCE). “It is no longer business as usual, if you want to offer your services to the sector, bearing in mind that you are nuturing young minds, it behooves,you should not cut corners but live up to the demands of the sector”,she stated. She disclosed, there will be revalidation of approvals to schools, “schools that did not meet the requirements for running a school would have their approvals revoked,”she warned.
The Commissioner said her administration is all about continued teachers’ upgrade and called on the association to ensure teachers from their sector continuously upgrade their skill by sending representatives to seminars and workshops organised by the state government for teachers. Prof.Chuma -Udeh enjoined proprietors of private schools to pay the acceptable levies from government as regards their schools. “If you have a business in the state,you are duty bound to pay business premises levy to the government.”
“Non payment of of the levy tantamounts to tax evasion and would not be taken lightly by the present administration,she stated. The Permanent Secretary,Ministry of Education ,Barr.Mrs Nwando Obiano in her remarks, called on the association to be prompt in paying stipulated levies to the state government to avoid hicups in the system. She advised schools to insist on seeing a letter of authentication from ministry of Education from bodies coming to collect levies from their schools.
The Chairman of Owners of Private Schools Association of Nigeria,OPSAN, Prof.Uzochukwu Nwanonyuo of Susu College ,Nkpor listed incessant collection of levies and fees from different bodies, and non -implementation of government directives by concerned bodies in the state as some of the challenges plaguing the sector.
By Obiageli Nwankwo
Info officer,Min of Education