By Michael Odiah
Following the rapid increase in the number of substandard private schools in Delta State, the State House of Assembly through the Committee on Education has taken a step further in sanitizing the educational decay in the State.
The Education Committee saddled with the responsibility of scrutinizing the “Bill For A Law To Regulate The Establishment Of Private Educational Institutions In Delta State And For Other Matters Connected Therewith”, held a public Hearing of the bill on Thursday, 8th February, 2018 where the intendment of the law was critically analyzed with Stakeholders in Education sector and members of the Public.
Speaking at the Hearing, the Honourable Member representing Ethiope East State Constituency at the Delta State House of Assembly, Hon Evance Ochuko Ivwurie and a member of the Committee said that quality education in Delta State is their top priority, adding that he forsees great schools coming up, only if school owners meet up to the standards.
Hon Ivwurie added that, the standardization of the education system in extension will be of best interest to the school owners as their schools will be ranked among the best in the Country, stressing that the bill is not meant to witch hunt anyone but to give Deltans quality education, redefine the parameters for analyzing a standard school as against quacks and help curb below average, multiple taxation incurred on school owners which has led to a rippled capital increase in the education sector.
Lending her support to the bill at the Public Hearing, Hon. Shola Daibo, Member Representing Warri South 1 State Constituency, said that her educational background is rooted in Nigeria when the educational system was solid, noting that the era of learning through the analogue system has been been displaced by digitization where the need to upgrade is essential even though it is capital intensive.
Daibo who took cognizance of various governments diversification move to help cushion up the aftermath of the free fall of oil sales, added that facilities for extra curricular activities are very important in schools as it helps to better integrate Children into the society which has to be carried out in a school environment.
She emphasized that schools upon getting their license must present a proof of an operational outdoor sporting facility that is affiliated to them and can be regularly used by the Pupils and Students.
Chairman of the Education Committee and Honourable member Representing Aniocha South State Constituency, Hon. Angela Nwaka in her speech said that, the essence of the bill is to save Children through the instrumentality of the education system which is wrapped up in extra curricular activities and the presence of relevant facilities in a school environment such as, Play grounds, Sport fields among others as education is not just about eating and learning but a totality of physical and intellectual activities at appropriate measures.
Hon. Nwaka informed that the bill which demands a 12 months notice in writing to the appropriate Ministry before commencement of any private educational institution for licensing, will only be issued license for one physical address and not subsequent branches.
The Chairman further disclosed that bill will also demand that prospective school owners present an adequate budget that is capable of engineering the school for a minimum of 12 months and a prove of evidence of funds needed to facilitate the budget, so as to avert the issue of funding currently facing existing school owners who will also be given 12 months to adhere to standards and acquire their license prior to when the bill is signed into law.