Borno govt to close down 300 private schools over illegal operation

The Borno government said it was placing high premium on technical and vocational education so as to produce graduates who could become self-employed.

More than 300 private schools in Borno risk being shut for failure to participate in government’s mandatory accreditation.

Commissioner for Education, Engr. Lawan Wakilbe, told newsmen in Maiduguri on Wednesday that the exercise became necessary to contain the proliferation and unwholesome activities of some private schools.

He said it was of concern that since the exercise began in 2022 only 266 private schools had complied, out of about 600 of them.

Wakilbe said the ministry, private schools proprietors, the Ministry of Justice and the police would meet on Saturday to warn about the illegality of operating unaccredited schools.

He added that the meeting would also warn about the possibility shutting defaulting schools and the prosecution of their proprietors.

“We may reopen the registration window for a short period for final compliance and that is even after approval must have been obtained from the State Executive Council,’’ the commissioner said.

Wakilbe also told newsmen that Borno was placing high premium on technical and vocational education so as to produce graduates who could become self-employed.

“Out of the 1.8 million out-of-school children we have, a significant number have overgrown regular school cycles.

“A child who was four years old when the Boko Haram insurgency started is now around 15 years old and a person that was 10 years old then is now 20 years old.

“Most of them grew up in Internally Displaced Peoples camps.

“The best way to handle such children is through basic literacy, numeracy and technical skills acquisition so they can pick up their lives,’’ Wakilbe said.

He noted that the technical and vocational schools were so popular that when government went to distribute 450 admission forms at the newly-established vocational centre in Biu Local Government Area, about 5,000 applicants showed up.

Wakilbe said Gov. Babagana Zulum had to approve morning and afternoon sessions for the school among other measures to enable it to accommodate the upsurge of willing students.

`It is the same story at Shani Local Government Area. We are about to commission additional technical and vocational schools at Magumeri and Mafa Local Government Areas,’’ Wakilbe said.

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