The FCT Administration has threatened to shut down any school that failed to provide the necessary information required in building a credible data base for assessing the health status of the education system.
The FCTA Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusade Adesola, issued the warning at the inauguration of the 2020 and 2021 FCT Annual School Census for Basic and Post-Basic Schools in the six Area Councils of the territory, on Thursday, in Abuja.
Represented by the Director, FCT Secondary Education Board, Mrs. Lanre Emeje, Adesola also threatened to sanction school proprietors and administrators who defaulted in the data collation process.
He noted that the continuous influx of people into the nation’s capital put enormous pressures on infrastructure, including educational facilities.
According to him, the population growth had resulted in increased enrolment in schools and the need for expansion and additional schools.
“I wish to also commend the private sector participation in the provision of education services to the residents of the FCT. You have keyed into the slogan “Education for all is the responsibility of all.
“However, in as much as we appreciate your contributions, we need to know the status, level and quality of the education you are providing.
“Participation in the annual school census is one of the means of providing us with the data on such information, which in turn will pave way for any intervention”, Adesola said.
He enjoined all stakeholders to take the conduct of the 2020 and 2021 census seriously, through diligent participation, by providing accurate, reliable and timely data.
He said that appropriate sanctions, including shutting down of any school, would be enforced for any school that failed to comply.
He said that School Heads, Principals and Proprietors would be held accountable for failure to participate.
Earlier, the Secretary of the FCT Education Secretariat, Alhaji Sani El-Katuzu, said the exercise would provide reliable and timely data of all schools, to ensure proper planning.
He added that the annual school census would also provide an opportunity to evaluate the performance of the school system to the effective management of education in the FCT and in Nigeria at large.
The secretary lamented that accurate data for education planning and decision making had been a major concern of the government.
” And this has also created difficulties for development partners to make interventions in certain areas.”
He regretted that some principals and head teachers of public and private schools had shown a care-free attitude to data collection, with many failing to make timely returns.
“This problem of data quality is even worsened by the increasing number of schools that may not be included in government figures, such as unregistered private schools.
“And religious schools that may be teaching some secular subjects, thus resulting in large figures of out of school children as recorded for Nigeria by international development partners”.
He, therefore, advised that all hands must be on deck in the conduct of the 2020 and 2021 ASC in ICT, to ensure that credible, reliable and usable data was provided for effective planning, research purposes and sound decision making.