The Lagos State Agency for Mass Education has promised to collaborate with tutorial centres to identify centres not captured on the government’s database.
Director of the Agency, Mrs. Kemi Kalesanwo said at a stakeholders meeting with operators of continued education centres (CEC) that the government was willing to work with the registered centres to identify the unregistered operators as a way of reducing dues payable to the government yearly.
During the meeting held at the T.Block conference room, Alausa, the tutorial centres operators had complained that those of them registered by the government bore the burden for the multitude of unregistered operators.
National Public Relations Officer of the Association of Tutorial School Operators (ATSO), Mr. Adewale Idowu said: “Some tutorial centres are hiding. We are ready to work with the government to identify them. We pay dues for those that are hiding. We are ready to point them out so our annual dues can reduce.”
Idowu also lamented that tutorial centres were suffering from lack of patronage because of a government policy that has kept pupils in school longer in the name of reading sessions or extra classes – which do not hold regularly. He called for a review of the policy.
Responding, Mrs. Kalesanwo attributed the low patronage to COVID-19 pandemic. She said the agency would deliberate on their concerns and was ready to work with the CEC operators to identify those not captured by the government.
She said the annual dues was gradually being reduced, adding that the Agency only collects approval fees once during registration, and afterwards annual dues.
“If you observe, the dues is gradually being reduced. When I got to the Agency, we had less than 200 centres. Last year, when we did a census, we had 2,000 centres. By the time we have a lot more, the annual dues will reduce,” she said.
In an interview after the meeting, Mrs. Kalesanwo assured the CEC operators that they would benefit from partnership with the government.
“We have a lot of them. They are the people at the centres and they have told us where they think the government can come in to assist them. Like I told them, there are some that are out of my purview but I will take it back. This is the beginning of a beautiful partnership because it is the first of its kind where we will meet with this large number of CEC operators. I can assure you that at time goes on we will have positive changes and the out-of-school youth will be the one to benefit from it,” she said.
Mrs. Kalesanwo however admonished them not to lure young people to perpetrate examination malpractice.
Other issues raised at the meeting were certificate of approval for CECs, enrolment of CEC students for the Basic Education Certificate Examination, among others.
Regarding the certificates, the director said the operators should regard their approval letters as certificates. She also said if they had school-aged students in their centres, the agency could help facilitate their registration for the BECE.
SOURCE: THE NATION