The FCT Minister, Muhammad Bello, has approved the establishment of five new secondary schools in Abuja.
The acting director, Administration and Finance, FCTA Education Secretariat, Justina Mai-Magani, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.
According to her, the current FCT Administration is giving the development of education a priority and had developed strategies and policies to achieve its target.
“The FCT Minister has given approval for the establishment of an additional five new senior secondary schools this year; they include Government Secondary school Gwarimpa Estate and Government Secondary School Gosa.
“Others are Government Secondary School Giri, Government Secondary School Paikon Kore and Government Secondary School Bukpe.
“These schools were approved for establishment to meet the increasing demand for schools in their communities.” she said.
The acting director said it was hoped that the schools would cater for the educational needs of about 3,000 students, who were out-of-school or had to travel long distances to go to school.
According to Mai-Maigani, the schools are in addition to the three schools established in 2016.
The three schools are Government Science and Technical College Kwali, Government Science Secondary School, Pykassa and Government Secondary, Mpape, all of which have moved to their permanent sites.
On accreditation of private schools, she said that the minister approved the accreditation of 115 private schools that had met all the requirements for the establishment and management of private schools in the FCT.
“These schools, as we know, will complement the efforts of the government in providing quality education for students in the FCT,’’ she said.
Commenting on the closure of substandard private schools, the acting director said there was a major exercise in 2016 to sanitise the private school system with the closure of 556 illegal and substandard private schools in the territory.
“During the visits, we found schools located on flood plains, in the middle of markets, next to drinking parlours and brothels and even right on top of dump sites.
“Apart from inappropriate physical structures, we also discovered the highest qualification of many teachers in some of the schools was failed Senior Secondary School Examination (SSCE) certificate.
“Surely, there is no way we can allow this to continue; the Department of Quality Assurance is still monitoring the schools to ensure that the highest possible standards are maintained,” she said.
She said the secretariat has over the years maintained an open door policy to encourage local and international partners willing to work to improve education standard in the territory.
“Collaboration with international agencies such as UNICF, UNESCO, JIKA and KOICA has not only been consistent but has improved over the years.
“A very significant achievement is the robust collaboration with the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) for the establishment of a Nigeria/Korea model school worth 15million dollars.
“Teachers for this school have been selected through a rigorous process and some have even commenced further training,” she said.