Task Force report exposes private schools
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
The educational task force under the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE), which were mandated to visit all private schools and, among other things, to verify their registration status in accordance with the national rules and regulations that guide opening of private schools, has submitted their report. The report thoroughly exposed the situation of the private schools across Region One.
The report, as presented to stakeholders on Saturday, including proprietors of private schools that converged at the Kanifing Municipal Council Multi-purpose Hall, Kanifing, exposed the rough, wrongful and woeful situation which some of the private schools are operating.
It is general assumption that private schools, especially in Africa, are the best places where teaching and learning are effectively carried out. This assumption was proven wrong, as this report by the Ministry exposed the poor status and bad system adopted by some of them, leading to their closure. This was evidently shown in the big screen at the meeting courtesy of the task force at the presentation inteface.
situational analysis as regarding their findings, it was discovered that some
of the private schools proprietors especially those that are closed, illegally
opened and unregistered in different locations using the same licence to
operate. It was as well discovered that some of the proprietors extended their
operation to include other levels such as moving from ECD to LBS within the
same premises without approval, and as a result sometimes create congestion and
over crowdiness in classrooms.
It was noted that a good number of the private schools, especially ECDs are housed in undesirable and risk structures like self-contained houses, close to noisy places – workshops, markets, waterlogged premises, churches, verandas/corridors unfinished buildings among other places.
to the presentation of the task force, the closure of the schools is as result
of their established degree of prevalence as regarded the conditions and status
of those private schools; lack of enough classroom and space; limited number of
qualified teachers; poor sanitation and school management; salary issue and
unsafe structure among other conditions.
However, in some cases the safety of the facilities and or the location of some schools are greatly doubted. Citing examples as opened to the stakeholders, some schools are constructed with mud blocks under leaking roofs in private and hidden locations which can expose children to the risk of sexual harassment, disaster or emergency outbreaks like fire, and dangerous reptiles.
The task force pointed out that there has been a high demand for education and so proprietors have capitalised on this demand and the low starting capital cost of illegal operations of schools to operate as per their own will. The interface was marked with questions and answers from various stakeholders such as National Assembly members, officials from various ministries, Alkalolu, students, among other stakeholders.
Author: Yunus S Saliu