BEVERLY HILLS, February 21, (THEWILL) – Some indigenes of Delta State have protested the closure of Study Centres, also known as Evening Lessons, by the State Government, describing it as untimely and a bad decision. Most respondents who craved anonymity stated that operators of the alleged Miracle Centres were persons eking out a living for themselves because of the harsh realities occasioned by COVID-19.
THEWILL recalled that the State Government had ordered the immediate closure of such centres across the state.
The State Commissioner of Basic and Secondary Education, Mr Patrick Ukah, who spoke on Wednesday in Asaba, the state capital, when members of the state Child Right Implementation Committee paid him a visit, said the closure was necessary to sanitise the educational sector.
He noted that these centres were centres for child abuse and examinations malpractice.
These Miracles Centres, according to him, operate contrary to laid down rules and guidelines for extra – moral classes in the educational sector.
While explaining that there was a need to regulate their operation, Ukah stated that these extra-mural classes ought to operate exactly as evening lessons only.
“The Miracle Centres must be closed down to check examination malpractice and arrest the ugly trend of endangering the future of our children,“ he declared.
The Commissioner, therefore, directed the operators to visit the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education for proper documentation and regularisation.
Meanwhile, Ukah had also directed the Department of Inspectorate and Quality Assurance to ensure strict compliance with the closure order.
He said that an Advocacy and Mentoring Department had been established to realise its terms of reference.
Mrs Oghenkevwe Agas, chairperson of the Child Right Act Committee, doubling as the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Women Affairs, told THEWILL that the Act was signed into law in 2008 whereas the Committee was inaugurated in 2020.
She noted that the Education Ministry was intent upon enforcing the Child Right Act to its letter.
The Permanent Secretary advised teachers and all education stakeholders to protect the child from all forms of abuses like rape, examination malpractice, street trading, hawking and domestic violence.