On Monday, February 20, the Enugu State Government suspended the operations of Early Dew Montessori Academy when viral photos showed that the proprietress of the school got some pupils arrested for failing to do their assignments.
The school is currently being threatened with permanent closure. Commissioner for Education, Professor Uche Eze, described the development as ‘an embarrassment to the state government and a serious psychological abuse of the concerned children’.
Besides the suspension, the school management was also ordered to apologise, in writing, to the state government, parents of the ‘abused’ children, and the entire people of Enugu State. These measures have to be carried out before the suspension could be lifted. Failure to do so, the school will be closed, permanently. .
However, the proprietress, Mrs Ify Okonkwo, has revealed that it was a stunt meant to discourage indiscipline, and also instill hardwork and good conduct among pupils in the school. .
Okonkwo said she collaborated with some parents to execute the stunt, adding that she was the one that shared pictures on a Whatsap forum she created for parents of pupils in the school.
The proprietress said:
“In my mind, I thought I was doing it to bring the children up in a way that they will be attached to their studies. No child was manhandled neither did they point a gun at any of the children.
I was the person that took the pictures and posted them on Whatsapp, with the caption ‘Some children were arrested today for not doing their homework, for not reading their books, for not behaving well, but they promised to change’.
I didn’t mean any harm; I meant well for the kids. If not, I wouldn’t have made it public – it would have been between me and the teachers.” Okonkwo said the parents commended her when she posted pictures on the forum.