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Indiscriminate establishment of private schools in Nigeria , a call for government intervention

By Nduka Val

Many people have previously written on the topic above, mine will serve as an addendum to it.
Education, generally has been seen and accepted as the systematic training and instructions, especially, of the young in schools and colleges which is slightly different from various views held by many authors on same the issue. Also, education can be seen to mean a process of transmitting knowledge, abilities, development of character and mental powers,which can result from such a training.
In this regard, no country, state or Local Government Area should toy with their education , particularly, at the lower levels, which notably serve as a foundation for the future of our children and for a country to move forward in many developmental dimensions.
For any country to actualize its developmental potentials with time, there is every need to have a well equipped, organized and regulated public and private nursery, primary and secondary schools by the assigned authorities.
Prior to this period, when Nigeria was not highly known for an uncontrollable establishment of private schools by some educational investors in various states, there was an improved standard of education in both the public and few privately owned Nursery, Primary and Secondary Schools, Owing to some prevailing factors.
It is obvious that few years after independence of 1960, the only notable private nursery, primary and secondary schools in
existence in Nigeria
were those ones owned by different churches such as the Catholic, Anglican, Methodist and the Lutheran churches.
It has been observed that in the late 90s a good number of penticostal churches began to join the train in private school ownership, probably because of competitiveness for financial derivatives.
The trend became worsened from year 2,000 till date, when virtually every founded church or ministry by any person or group of persons would see an establishment of a private school as a complementary institution to their existing churches, with regards to the financial benefits of the two.
Frankly speaking, the rate at which private schools are being established in Nigeria presently is very worrisome to any well meaning Nigerian, considering the dangers they pose to the quality realization in the educational sector.
It is very disheartening that many privately owned schools today are being established in an unapproved environment by the educational authorities, thereby making teaching and training of the children
very unrewarding.
Most private schools in different parts of the country do not have major facilities for operation. For instance, many of them are built without toilets, football pitch, poor ventilated class rooms and boreholes.
Due to poor hygienic toilets and absence of pipe born water in most private schools in the country, some pupils have contracted very stubborn diseases while making use of nearby bushes which actually may gulp much resources to handle, which ordinarily should have been spent in the child’s periodic educational development and sustenance.
It is no longer news that many private schools belonging to some proprietors in the country are operating without a football pitch and therefore affecting the sports developmental ability of the pupils and students, as such is designed to go hand in hand with educational training.
In same vein, the absence of qualified teaching personnel in some of the privately owned schools is another destructive weapon that characterizes poor performance and educational enhancement of the pupils and students in their various spheres of life. Due to poor qualitative teachers in most Nigerian private schools in true tendering of students in those schools, many pupils and students have totally become failed in their life career pursuits, owing to their poorly laid academic foundation by those unqualified teaching personnel in those established private schools in Nigeriia.
There are many factors responsible for the uncontrollable establishment of private schools in Nigeria. Some of them are: Capitalistic tendency of the owners, people’s increased patronage to depict class and greed.
It has been discovered that a good number of people who are regularly establishing private schools do so because of the bountiful economic reward attached therein. This truly has made private school ownership an all comers’ affair, thereby affecting educational sector in many dimensions.
The multiplicity of private schools in Nigeria could be said to be facilitated by an increase in people’s patronage which hovers around the showcase of their economic status (class structure) in those affected schools. Owing to this increase in demand, many people are therefore motivated to build more private schools to accommodate their desires without recourse to standard.
Conclusively, there is need for Nigerian government to wake up to stem this tide surrounding education before it gets out of hand.
This article stands to draw the attention of existing educational supervisory and regulatory bodies to control the ugly trend in the system.
There should be a provision of necessary facilities like monitoring vehicles to the authorities responsible for such supervision and regulation. The number of education supervisors should be beefed up by the education ministry for effective delivery.
Also, any school owner found wanting in any of the requirements must be disciplined appropriately for the betterment of education in all ramifications.
Government must make sure that any person or persons operating a private school must have a licence or be closed down.
Also the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools(NAPPS) must build a strong template for new private schools establishment to help the government enhance its educational sector and strictly eliminate quackery.


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