Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers said on Friday that his Government would close down private schools operating without approval in the State.
He gave the warning in Port Harcourt during a meeting between proprietors of private schools and the state government, warning them against paying levies to unauthorised individuals.
Wike said proprietors who absented themselves from the meeting would be suspended.
According to him, the government will set up a committee to investigate the qualifications of teaching staff of private schools and levies paid by the schools and to whom.
The team would also investigate the kind of accommodation used by the schools and their location, and warned against people “just opening schools because they wanted sources of survival.
“The team should investigate also if the staff of the private schools are paying their taxes or not to the state government.’’
He held that some parents can no longer afford to send their wards to schools due to the high fees charged by some private school proprietors.
Chairman of the Board of National Association of Proprietors of Private schools (NAPPS), Mrs Edna Opara appealed to the state government to establish a desk in the ministry to attend to matters concerning private schools.
She also urged the government to include members of NAPPS on the investigative team to give them a sense of belonging, adding that she supported the closure of unapproved private schools .
President of NAPPS, Rivers chapter, Chief Victor Green commended the governor for his developmental strides, but decried “the numerous and illegal fees’’ being collected by some unidentified agents from his members.
He added that they were being made to pay up to twelve levies without knowing the authorities they paid to, and that some of the collecting agents were exerting force in the process.
The president said some of his members had suffered physical injuries in the process, urging the government to look into the matter.