By Kehinde Oluwatayo
Poorly equipped private primary schools operating in Ondo State now risk being shut.
The indication was given by the Ministry of Education Science and Technology in collaboration with the State Internal Revenue Service during an inspection of some schools in Akure and its environs.
The Ministry said the threat became necessary to protect the lives of students and teachers in public institutions and avert explosion in illegal private schools in the state.
This was disclosed in a statement issued by the head of media unit of the ministry of education, science and technology, Mr Ayo Falana and made available to The Hope
According to the statement, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of ministry, Rev Akin Asaniyan said that government is deeply concerned that some private schools were operating without government’s approval.
Asaniyan said those schools were endangering the lives of the pupils because of the poor environment where they operate.
He stressed that some structures were not befitting why some don’t have facilities like toilets and potable water and therefore directed that All Saint Nursery and Primary School Irowo, Akure be pulled down saying the environment endangered the lives of pulpils.
The Permanent Secretary said keeping the pulpils in a dirty and unkept environment under the guise of teaching and learning is no longer acceptable to the government hence the need to close down and demolish some of the schools.
Asaniyan said the decision was not to discourage private school owners but to ensure quality service delivery and sanity in the education sector.
Speaking on the essence of the collaboration with state Internal Revenue Service, the permanent secretary said the ministry will be working to ensure standard in infrastructure as well as teaching and learning in the private schools while Internal Revenue service will ensure payment of statutory levies to government.
He said the team would not compromise on standard noting that the exercise which is continuous will be carried out across the entire state.
The Proprietor of All Saint Group of schools Irowo, Akure, Mr Rufus Olanusi who spoke with newsmen attributed the poor environment and his inability to pay the statutory licence fee to inability of parents and guardians to pay their wards fees as well as effect of coronavirus which shut down schools for months.
Similarly, Mrs Omorodon Blessing of Camp David Academy Hospital lane Akure said she had began the process of payment registration and will soon be completed.
Other schools inspected by the team included Mayor Academy Akure, Bucky Nursery and Primary School Akure, Ojuolape Nursery and Primary School Irowo Akure, Immaculate International Primary School, Oke-Aro Akure.
Schools that have not paid their license renewal fees were given payment advice to do so before the team’s next visit.