EDITORIAL: Rundown and rogue schools have no place in our midst

A couple of months ago, over 50 schools were closed for a number of reasons, ranging from poor sanitation to not having enough food to feed their students.

What was most surprising was seeing some of the best established and iconic institutions on the list of those ordered to shut their doors until they put their house in order.

That incident should have rung alarm bells in other schools that escaped the first swoop, but that was not to be.

Now, after another round of inspections, 108 schools have been put on notice; they will not be allowed to reopen in January if they have not met some of the requirements. The conditions are clear cut and should not have needed a government inspection team to raise the red flag in the hygiene department.

 It is common sense that where many people are converged, the highest standards of hygiene must be maintained, it is not nuclear science.

But putting the issue of hygiene apart, do the administrators of the schools in question have a true calling for education or it was just a last resort? The field of education cannot depend on mercenary-like methods; it is the country’s future that is being groomed within those walls.

fact, the Ministry of Education should take their inspection a notch higher by including access to universal education. Instead of the 12-Year Basic Education being a Godsend to parents, some schools have turned it into hell on earth.

They have come up with all sorts of hidden costs which they expect the parents to meet- down to as far as toilet paper fees - yet they receive capitation grants. Schools’ partnering with parents is not the issue but it should be done transparently with visible demarcations.

But whatever the outcome of that relationship, schools have a primary obligation to impart quality education in a conducive environment.

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