Benue to clampdown on illegal schools



By Faith Igbudu

Benue state Commissioner for Education, Dr Sarwuan Tarnongu has announced that private schools with illegal approvals or permit will cease to operate soon.

He made this known, Tuesday, when the EXCO of the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) paid him a courtesy visit at his office in Makurdi.

Dr Tarnongu lamented that his findings on schools in the state proved that most of them did not meet the requirements but compromised ministry staff to obtain approvals. He noted that the ministry recently closed down an illegal school and more are to follow shortly.

“Both prospective proprietors and the ministry staff are culpable, they compromise our staff to get approvals. I have discovered that and I am working on it. Some of these schools are operating in make shift accomodation, the infrastructures are not there but somehow, somewhere, some of our staff were compromised to recommend such schools for approval.

“We are taking measures to ensure that going forward schools that obtain approvals from the ministry of education are schools that have met standard.

“We are revisiting files to find out those staff that recommended for these showdy schools and we will not hesitate to sanction any staff that led the ministry to grant approval to such schools. We will also take appropriate legal steps to see if those illegal approvals can be withdrawn,” he stated.

He also declared as false, any claim by a staff of the ministry to get financial inducement from schools in the state using his name. “I have not sent any staff to go out and collect money for me,” he said.

The commissioner, while appreciating NAPPS for their meaningful participation in the area of education in the state tasked them to assist the ministry in sanitizing the sector by reporting cases of illegality to the ministry for further action.

Tarnongu also called on the general public and parents to be mindful of where they where they send their children to for education. He said: “Private doesn’t necessarily mean best,” adding that most of these schools lack the basic infrastructure and qualified teachers.

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