The Lagos State Government, through the Office of Education Quality Assurance (OEQA), has embarked on monitoring the compliance status of private schools across the State following the registration and validation exercise which commenced in July, 2022.
Speaking during the monitoring exercise, the Director-General of OEQA, Mrs. Abiola Seriki-Ayeni disclosed that the agency has been saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that residents get quality education, hence the need for the validation exercise to ensure that private schools adhere to Global best practices.
She noted that the validation exercise was set up to also serve as a form of evaluation, saying: “In recent past, we have seen that there is a correlation between investigative issues and compliance of schools. As a result, we thought it is important to not just have updated data of schools but to have a different layer of valuation at the school level”.
The Director-General stated further that in July 2022, the agency began an automation project where its team went around schools and gave the operators the opportunity to update information concerning their schools for both the approved and those in the process of getting approval.
She, however, revealed that the initial deadline for the close of validation was August 2022, but based on the feedback from stakeholders, it was extended to 30th September 2022, for more schools to be captured and their data updated.
Her words: “The main reason why we are embarking on this monitoring exercise is that we realised that certain schools have not been validated, so we are going around with our tablets and smartphones to ensure that they do their validation exercise successfully”.
Seriki-Ayeni reiterated that for the government, it is important to have accurate data because it impacts the decision-making process, noting that as a regulatory body it is important to validate the information provided so as to ensure its accuracy.
“We must have a reliable and transparent system of data collation to help in our decision-making and help give an equal system in the regulatory function of schools, which makes the validation of data exercise for our approved and unapproved schools necessary. We have high expectations from our schools and education as a whole because we want to raise responsible children and part of being responsible is to comply with set standards and rules”, she stated.
Some of the Proprietors of the Schools visited, which include Baptist Academy Secondary School for Boys; Baptist Academy Secondary School for Girls and Grace Schools, Gbagada among others, expressed delight at the exercise.