A Bill for a Law to Regulate the Establishment of Private Educational Institutions in Delta State and for Other Matters Connected Therewith has scaled through second reading on the floor of the Delta State House of Assembly.
Leading the debate on the bill, the Chief sponsor, Hon. Evance Ochuko Ivwurie said if passed into law, it will promote excellence in our educational system. “This bill will complement the objectives and goals of the Universal Basic Education in the State which will provide good foundation for quality education and safe learning environment for our children and one unique aspect of this bill is the requirement for registration of both old and new schools. The essence is to enable the ministry have details of all private schools operating in the state to see if they comply with the State and Universal Basic Education Standard.”
WHY THIS BILL?
When passed into law, the regulation will provide the legal framework for the Ministry of basic and secondary Education to enable them regulate the operations of private owned primary and secondary schools in Delta state.
Speaking further, Hon. Ivwurie noted that on Constitutional Ground, Item 30 of Part II of the Second Schedule to the Constitution provides under the Concurrent Legislative List that the House of Assembly has power to make laws for the State with respect to Technical, Vocational, Post primary, Primary and other forms of Education. Section 2 of this bill in conformity with the above Constitutional provision, the bill defines Private Educational Institution to include any pre-primary, primary, post-primary, technical, vocational, remedial, training centres or any similar institution but does not include any institution established by the State Government. Similarly, the intent of this bill fulfills the provisions of Section 4 subsection (7) of the Constitution which stipulates that the House of Assembly of a State shall have power to make laws for the peace, order and good government of the State.
Highlighting on the Economic importance of the bill, the lawmaker stated that if passed into law, it will be a revenue generating law in the State. “This bill does not require any commission or board to be set up by Government, the Ministry of Education and other sister agencies in the state will be involved in its implementations, therefore, it has no financial implication neither will it increase wage bill of Government rather it will increase revenue for the State.”
Hon. Ivwurie opined that the Bill will promote Excellence in the Educational system of the state. “The focus of this bill is to ensure that standard of learning improves in the state private institutions. The benefit of academic excellence cannot be over emphasized. It is trans-generational; it promotes quality and sustainable developments and virile society. The bill will totally put an end to mushroom schools with unqualified teachers, proprietors and proprietress operating in the State. Most importantly is the fact that this bill will complement the objectives and goals of the Universal Basic Education in the State. That is, making available for our children quality education and safe learning environment.”
The Bill will also provide good foundation of Pre-primary education for our children. “Mr. Speaker, the pre-primary education is the beginning of educational life of every child who will become leader of tomorrow
He further stressed that the intent of this bill as stated above is to regulate and supervise the activities of private owned institutions in the State to ensure that standard in our private schools is not sacrificed on the altar of monetary benefit for private school owners.
Concluding his debate, Hon. Evance Ivwurie informed the house that wide consultations were carried in the course of drafting this bill. “Mr. Speaker and Honorable Members, the opinion of the Ministry of Education was sought in the process of drafting the bill and my findings indicate that this bill is timely and needful. In their words and I quote “we do most things as already captured by the bill, but thank God for the legal backing which is a welcome development, we shall give any support as may be demanded of us”.
“Mr. Speaker, I can assure you that the operator of the bill is waiting for the passage of the bill, our parents are yearning for it earnestly, the private school owners are waiting for it because most private schools who have the required standard want the mushroom school to be de-registered and consequently be discontinued.”
“Mr. Speaker, should we allow our children to be taught in an environment not suitable for learning? Should we allow our wards to be taught under a curriculum beneath Universal Basic Education standard? Or should we allow our kids to learn under a teacher that does not have the requisite qualification for teaching? He added.
Mr. Speaker and my dear colleagues, at this juncture, I will crave your indulgence to join hands with me to give this bill an accelerated passage. Therefore, it is my humble submission that this bill scale through the hurdles of legislative process,” Ivwurie submitted.
Other members who gave their support to this notable bill include; Hon. Anthony Elekeokwuri, Hon. Izeze Rueben, Hon. Oboroh Preyo, Hon. Alphonsus Ojo and Hon. Peter Okagbare.
The bill was unanimously supported when the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Monday Igbuya put forth the Ayes and Nays question, and the Ayes had the floor.
The speaker thereafter committed the bill to the House committee on Education for further inputs.