School building collapse: Govt to keep pupils’ hope alive

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…officials benefitting from private school establishment – NAPPS Chairman

By Seun Oladunjoye

The Lagos State Ministry of Education has affirmed its undaunting readiness to keep alive the education hope of the pupils of the recent collapsed school building in Ita-Faji, Lagos Island.

The Deputy Director, Public Affairs, Ministry of Education, Lagos State, Mr. Segun Ogundeji made this disclosure in an interview with Nigerian NewsDirect.

Mr. Ogundeji expatiated further that the government will find a way to accommodate the pupils into the state’s public schools.

He said the Lagos State government would not want to impose on any parent, even as it is willing to give a helping hand.

“It is the prerogative of the parents, if they still want the pupils to continue to attend private schools, they can get another one, but if they opt for public schools, we will find a way to accommodate them.”

While debunking the notion that government needs a policy review on the establishment of private schools in the state, he said there is an already existing one yet to be officially launched.

He however, added that it is actually the guideline that has all provisions for private school owners to follow and adhere to with a view to avoiding any hitch.

The Deputy Director thereby highlighted application for name search and site inspection of the property, as the key provisions inscribed in the private schools establishment guideline.

These, he said must be followed to the letter before the ministry of education will grant any school’s approval.

On the contrary, he reemphasized that all these provisions of the guideline are not done in the case of the Ita-Faji collapsed school building.

“We later gathered that the collapsed school doesn’t have a signpost and that the pupils were not even wearing school uniform.”

Moving forward, he engaged the member of the public to continually be the eyes of the government on the road, in the society, community and everywhere.

According to him “there is no number of staff the government can put in place that can be as effective as getting cooperation from the public.

In another development, the former Chairman, National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), Ifo Local Government, Ogun State, Mr. Oluwakemi Yunus submitted that some of the ministry officials are benefitting from the establishment of these mushroom private schools.

Mr. Yunus hereby sounded an alarming note of warning that the issue of these so called mushroom private school establishments must not be taken with kid gloves.

This, he (Proprietor, Success Hall College, Olaogun, Agbado) observed as means of controlling future of school building collapse.

His worry also bordered on the fact that the cycle of mushroom school patronage might continue, as the pupils might be enrolled in another such private school.

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