12th July, 2010
The Cross River State Government has shut 139 private schools in the Northern and Central Senatorial Districts of the state.
According to a release by the Ministry of Education in the state, the schools are substandard and do not have the necessary facilities to function as nursery and primary schools.
The statement signed by Dr Offiong Offiong, the state Commissioner for Education, lists fourteen schools as having been shut down in Obanlikwu, 16 in Ikom, Obudu 20, Obubra 10, Bekwara, Yala 14, Boki 9, Ogoja 20, Abi 12, and Boki 9.
The statement did not list the schools shut in the Southern Senatorial District of the state which consists of places like Calabar, Odukpani, Bakassi, Akpabuyo, and Akamkpa which has hundreds of such schools in existence.
â€œThey are closing down our schools, saying they are substandard. Have they taken a look at their so-called public schools to see what state they are in? They are doing that because of bad belle, because most of those schools shut are alright,â€ a proprietor of a private school in Ogoja told P. M. NEWS on phone.
Schools owned by prominent institutions like the Catholic Church, Presbyterian and Lutheran church were not spared.
The commissioner in the statement warned that those who continue to operate any school declared closed down shall be prosecuted.
Dr Offiong called on parents to relocate their children and wards to schools which passed the ministryâ€™s inspection hurdle.
â€”Emma Una/ Calabar