Why We’re Counting Private Schools In Anambra – Commissioner
By Nedum Noble
Anambra State government has disclosed its plans to carry out a census of all private schools across the State.
The Commissioner for Basic Education, Prof. Kate Omenugha made the disclosure while addressing a sensitization meeting of private investors in the Education Sector in Awka, said the exercise was designed to generate the needed data base for grading private schools in the State.
She however said the exercise was not intended for taxation of such schools, but would form the basis for government’s planning that would lead to interventions in private schools.
“The exercise is borne out of Governor Obiano’s conviction that children in private schools are Anambra State children, and should therefore have their fair share of government’s attention, just like their counterparts in public schools,” she added.
According to the Commissioner, there cannot be any effective planning for sustainable intervention, without data, just as she revealed that Anambra is the only State that gives money to private schools.
While urging the leaders of the various private schools associations to galvanize the support and co-operation of their members towards the success of the exercise, Omenugha insisted that the exercise was targeted at getting children in the state right through quality education.
On her part, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Basic Education, Mrs Ifeoma Ezeaku, underscored the importance of data in planning processes, calling on the participants to ensure the realization of this laudable objective.
In a presentation, the leader of United Kingdom Department for International Development Support Project in Developing Effective Private Education in Nigeria, Mrs Chioma Osuji, exposed the participants to some of the information being expected from them, as well as the benefits of the grading of private schools to include facilitating government planning for intervention in private schools.
Leaders of the various private schools associations that attended the meeting including the Association of Formidable Education Development, the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools, proprietors of Private Schools as well as Education Secretaries of both the Catholic, Anglican and Pentecostal Churches.
They commended the State government for its interest in getting the children of Anambra State right through quality education and pledged their unalloyed support to the project.