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Private school owners battle Imo govt. over closure attempt

Private school owners battle Imo govt. over closure attempt

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George Onyejiuwa, Owerri

Members of the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), yesterday, resisted an attempt by Imo State government officials to close down some private schools for allegedly operating illegally.

The committee members had sealed off some schools, including the Redeemers Secondary School, Owerri, a development that resulted in a fisticuffs between members of the committee and some school proprietors aided by their students.

Regardless, the proprietors have accused the government officials of invading their schools with thugs, causing panic and anxiety amongst their pupils.

They also accused  officials of the Ministry of Education of extortion of various amounts of money, ranging from N50, 000 to N200, 000, in the guise of development levies.

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But, the Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Prof. Florence Emenalo, who lamented the proliferation of private schools in the state, said the affected schools were substandard, not registered or failed to renew their registration with the Ministry of Education.

She said the schools also failed to scale through the verification carried out by the task force set up by the ministry. Prof. Emenalo said the exercise was aimed at sanitising the education sector for better service delivery, and that during the verification, any school that failed to meet up with the requirements at any point would be shut, until such a school does what is expected. The commissioner however, frowned at the activities of the NAPPS leadership, saying “NAPPS go around and collect money from the

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