Delta State Returns 40 Schools to Former Missionary Owners

Oct 10, 2011 – Delta State Returns 40 Schools to Former Missionary Owners

The Delta State government says it has returned 40 secondary schools to their former missionary owners, with effect from September, 2011.

The Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Professor Patrick Muobaghare, said that 27 of the schools were returned to the Catholic mission, eight to the Anglican, four to the Baptist mission and one to the African Church group.

Muobaghare said that all the processes of handing over the schools to the former owners had been completed and that was the reason why his ministry did not admit students into class one of the Basic Secondary School (formerly Junior Secondary School) for the 2011/2012 session.

“We have concluded the handing-over process. What is left is a formal and symbolic ceremony on it to be performed by the governor in any of the affected schools,” he said.

He admitted that some communities might not appreciate the rationale behind the return of the schools to the missionaries but requested cooperation from such, saying that the decision to return the schools to the former owners was one of the measures being taken to improve the standard of education in the state.

According to him, one of the reasons for the handing over is to encourage competition in school administration in the state and thereby raise standards in the sector.

On the fate of teachers in the affected schools, the commissioner said that the teachers had the option of joining the employment of the new owners of the schools or remaining in government employment.

“For those who opt to remain as staff of the state government, we will transfer them to other public schools around the state,” Muobaghare said.