Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, on Friday withdrew the licences of 16 of the state’s most prestigious and top performing private schools for failing to attend a meeting he called for their proprietors.
Don’t take our word for it. Just Google the first school on the list – Charles Dale Memorial International School: 98 per cent pass rate in 2015/2016 May/June WAEC; 1st,2nd,3rd and 5th positions in National Chemistry Olympiad Competition 2016; Nigeria’s representative at 50th International Mendeleev Chemistry Olympiad in Moscow, Russia in 2016; Winner of 2014 Cowbell mathematics competition in senior category and 1st and 3rd positions in junior category.
Go down that list and you will discover similar levels of achievement. And in one swoop, Wike ordered the education commissioner to sanction them for not attending a meeting — not for breaking a law or a regulation, no, but because the man in the Rivers Governor’s Office has a short fuse.
At the meeting, Wike also announced that majority of principals of public secondary schools in the state will be suspended for charging illegal levies which placed unnecessary burden on parents.
Wike told the school proprietors at the meeting that his actions are aimed at improving the quality of education in the state.
The governor, who served as minister of state for education under Goodluck Jonathan, announced the setting up of a committee to undertake the comprehensive audit of all private schools in the state for the purpose of ascertaining the quality of teachers in such schools, the nature of their environment and their operational capacity.
He said: “This audit committee will work with stakeholders. All schools that are not approved would be shut down immediately. We cannot continue to have illegal schools in the state. ”
He said henceforth no private school will have permanent approval. They will only be given temporary approvals, subject to periodic reviews.
On the payment of levies, Governor Wike said that his administration has commenced the process of harmonising all rates to eliminate multiple taxation.
The governor added that the Rivers State Government will continue to support private schools through the provision of basic amenities.
He urged them to reciprocate by reducing the fees that they charge parents
The governor said going forward, the meeting with private school proprietors will be held every quarter.