By Stephen Adeleye.
The Kogi State Government on Thursday assured private schools in the state of effective collaboration and partnership for the delivery of quality education to the people of the state.
The state’s Commissioner for Education Science and Technology, Hon. Wemi Jones Ojo, gave the assurance at a meeting he held with the State executive of the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) on Thursday in Lokoja.
The Commissioner noted that NAPPS apparently believed that the ministry and by extension the government was in competition with them, saying, ”we need to erase that notion as quickly as we can, because we are partners in progress.
”For us, it will be our joy to see the association succeed in business, but while succeeding in business, they must offer us quality.
”We cannot afford to have proprietors bring substandard schools to our state and run down our system; we will not allow that.
”We will support them as much as we can, give them every necessary logistics to be able to put in the best, so that we can together build children that we can be proud of as Kogites”, he said.
The commissioner noted that the ministry had given assurances to NAPPS of effective collaboration and partnership, but stressed the need for the association to also support the government.
”We have told them that they need to support the government because you cannot operate in our State and take all the benefits without giving back.
”We would do our best as government and as ministry to support them, while they also should be ready and willing to give back to the government. They must give back to us.
”It is a simple relationship that we are going to enjoy going forward,” the commissioner restated.
On his part, Dr Yakeen Habeeb, the state Chairman of NAPPS, said the meeting was a successful one, saying the commissioner assured them of support and collaboration to move Kogi education forward.
According to him, NAPPS presented several requests before the commissioner such as getting them involved policy formulation in education, effective collaboration, monitoring and assessment of schools, issue of multiple taxation, among others.
”On our part, we have given so much assurances to the commissioner that NAPPS is ready to work with the government to raise the standard of education in Kogi.
”The end result of education is the output of the students we produce; if you produced half baked students, they would not be able to compete nationally or internationally.
”We are working to ensure that we will be able to train children that will make their family, state and the nation proud”, Habeeb said.
The association also presented a gift of a giant congratulatory card to the commissioner, as a way of facilitating with him on his appointment.