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Public and Private sector to boost education

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By Abiodun Okunloye

Unserved populations will be bridged by private schools to address obstacles.

At a recent Nextier forum organised to discuss learning gaps, professionals in the fields of public policy and education discussed strategies for improving the quality of Nigeria’s educational system. Some of the ideas included utilising low-cost private schools, improving teacher training, and forming partnerships between the public and private sectors. They also highlighted the importance of using data and evidence to shape learning policies and programs while stressing the value of involving the community in research and policy development.

This discussion, led by Patrick Okigbo III, the Founder of Nextier, with Dr. Adefeso-Olateju, an expert in education policy, resulted in several critical resolutions. Their focus was on learning reform, particularly the role of private schools for underprivileged populations in addressing Africa’s educational obstacles. The discussion emphasised the significance of providing quality and easily accessible education as a driver for sustainable development. They also focus on the possibility of using low-cost private schools instead of public schools to tackle the current system’s shortcomings.

High-quality teachers and school collaboration are essential.

The importance of having high-quality teachers and the advantages of collaborating with both public and private sectors were highlighted. Dr. Adefeso-Olateju shed light on the intricate nature of the education landscape in Africa, underlining the significance of learning in driving overall progress. There was also a focus on how it plays a crucial part in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the necessity of guaranteeing those children receive high-quality and applicable education to equip them for upcoming technological progressions.

Also, they highlighted the obstacles to providing more learning opportunities, particularly in Nigeria, where many kids are not attending school. Nextier’s statement following the discussion emphasised the importance of thinking outside the box to address this issue. This includes utilising affordable schools and improving educational standards through better teacher preparation and partnerships between the public and private sectors. They highlighted a lack of data and evidence being used in the development of educational policies and programs.

Private sector effectiveness and accountability will be enhanced.

It stressed the importance of involving all stakeholders in research and policy-making. He added that the focus should be on practical solutions that prioritise the well-being of children rather than being influenced by ideological biases. The discourse proposed moving away from solely relying on public education and considering models that include private sector effectiveness and accountability. The stakeholders in the education sector were urged to come together and work towards the common goal of prioritising the well-being of children, regardless of the delivery method.

Furthermore, it was emphasised that cooperation, creativity, and a focus on breaking down existing barriers are key to making progress in the reform. A united front is necessary to tackle the numerous challenges that the system in Africa is currently facing. Collaboration is essential in bridging the gap because it brings together different perspectives, expertise, resources, and ideas to address complex challenges. By working together, stakeholders such as educators, policymakers, parents, and community members can pool their knowledge and resources to develop effective strategies and interventions that can help improve educational outcomes for all students.

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A sense of shared responsibility and commitment to addressing the root causes of the education gap will also be encouraged, such as inequitable access to resources and opportunities. By collaborating, they can identify and address systemic barriers contributing to disparities in educational achievement and outcomes. It can help build stronger relationships and trust among stakeholders, essential for fostering a supportive and inclusive learning environment. When educators, parents, and community members work together towards a common goal, they can create a culture of accountability, transparency, and mutual respect that benefits all students.

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