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Education Commissioner urges private, mission schools cooperation with govt’s biometric team

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ANAMBRA State Commissioner for Education, Ngozi Chuma-Udeh has urged private and mission schools in the state to cooperate with the federal and state biometrics team sent to their schools for data capturing.

  The commissioner made this call in a meeting with proprietors of private schools and education secretaries of Anglican Diocese, held at the Conference Hall of the ministry.

  Addressing the groups, Prof. Chuma Udeh said that closing their doors to the team was equal to disenfranchising their school children from national and state palliatives meant for schools across the nation.

  She said, “every Anambra child belongs to the state and is entitled to share from educational palliatives made available by the state and federal governments.

  “The teams are on a state and national assignment to capture the data of every students and pupils for comprehensive data banking.

  “Mr Governor himself specifically called for the data of every school child from crèche to secondary schools in Anambra, including their state and local government origins.

  “So do not close your doors on them because that would amount to working against the success of Gov. Soludo’s good intentions for Anambra school children.”

  The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mrs Nwando Obiano called on schools to ascertain the authenticity of the teams that came to their schools by requesting for letters of authorisation from the Ministry of Education, duly signed by her.

  Mrs Obiano encouraged the schools to report to the ministry anyone that failed to provide a letter of authorisation.

  She also said that schools were not required to give monetary incentives to the team rather, that all monies should be paid to the designated account mapped out for the exercise.

  Addressing the groups, the leader of the Federal Biometrics Team, Mr Edward Abaraka, who is also the Deputy Director Internal Audit, Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) said the team was in the state for a national personnel audit of both private and public schools, including registered and non-registered schools in the state.

  He said that the essence of the audit was to help guide the government in planning for the future of the Nigerian child.

  “The biometrics capturing will help in the equitable distribution of federal government education grants to schools across the federation.

 “The audit will help to determine the number of qualified teachers in the state, establishing where there is deficit and the number of children in and out of school at a given time.

  “The National Personnel Audit was first carried out in 1996 with subsequent ones in 2006, 2010 and 2018.”

  Mr Abaraka urged them to cooperate with his team and ensure that no Anambra child was denied of their entitlements.

  Earlier, Prof. Uzochukwu Nwanonyiwo of Susu College, Nkpor, thanked the commissioner for recognising the role of private schools in education sector across the state, adding that they have been spurred to do more for the state and school children.

  He recommended that the ministry should put up a memo listing the approved fees and levies stipulated by the state government for private schools so as to curb illegal collection and multiplicity of levies by unscrupulous individuals.

  Reacting, the Head Education Secretaries, Awka Diocese, Ven. Ifeanyi Umeh commended the commissioner for being a free thinker and embracing all irrespective of religious denominations.

  He urged her to bridge the destructive dichotomy between Anglican and Catholic schools in order to foster a strong and enviable sector where every stakeholder would have a sense of belonging.

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