Nigerians are increasingly choosing private schools because they are dissatisfied with the government-funded system. Yet, not everything on offer is of a high caliber. Olufemi Olajide is accustomed to devoting about 80% of his income on paying for the education of his three children. In a public school “when 100 or more students fill up a class and only one instructor is assigned to them.” His main concern is how to continue funding the education of his children after losing his work due to the present economic crisis.
Olajide claims he attended public schools and comes from an upper middle class family. Public schools were in better shape back then than they are now, and private schools had not yet gained popularity. His decline in confidence in Nigeria’s public education system is neither unusual nor brand-new. Most people concur that it is underfunded and poorly managed. Structures typically exhibit a significant need for investment. The majority of Nigerians today consider paying for private schooling to be an investment in the future of their kids. Many people are willing to invest a sizable portion of their income. Some parents favor faith-based schools due to religious considerations.
Families spend to send their children to the best schools.
Primary education is required and free in Nigeria, per the law. But, according to experts, just 60% of kids between the ages of six and eleven attend elementary schools on a regular basis. In the academic year 2018 to 2019, there were around 117,000 primary schools in the nation, 62,000 of which were state-owned and 55,000 of which were private. Private schools appeared to be springing up all over Nigeria before the outbreak. Yet, during Covid-19 lockdowns many of them permanently shut down once more. Others are still having trouble recovering due to a lack of resources. Private education is also resuming, and business activity has started to pick up again.
There are a variety of affordable schools available that serve various demographics. The standards of the pricey institutions that wealthy people rely on are plainly much higher than those of the private schools that impoverished families can afford. The better ones have adequate staffing and equipment. They have modern libraries, sports facilities, swimming pools, and science labs. They provide classes in a wide range of topics, such as music, art, and information technology. The student to teacher ratio is also more favorable.
High academic performance is typical of trait of private schools.
Adunola Adebote is an educator who has experience working in both public and private schools as a teacher, counsellor, and director. Because kids are encouraged to participate in competitions, she claims that good private schools tend to have pupils with great academic achievements. For exceptional students, scholarships become available. Furthermore, many forms of skill development foster children’s growth. They held online classes throughout the pandemic, with wealthy pupils having access to the necessary IT equipment.
Her experience shows that it’s important for parents to have a say in what their children do in school. As she puts it, “enrolling your child in a private school makes you a partner in advancement.” Also welcomed are safety precautions like security guards at the school gates. Some schools do, however, have exorbitant tuition. Otherwise, they would be unable to achieve their objectives. Commonly, not just public schools lack the financial capabilities. Many private schools also practice this. In fact, some creative people have converted run-down or unfinished structures into affordable private schools. There are frequently untrained amateurs working as teachers.
Many public schools can not compete with privatized options for education.
Some state governments have threatened to close schools that are not registered, do not adhere to official curricula, disrespect safety regulations, or flout other social norms since the quality of education can be so poor. Yet, these institutions are frequently preferred by parents over public ones. Self-help schools that don’t capitalize on parents’ worry have started in deprived neighborhoods to some extent. They definitely cannot compete with costly private schools. The growth of inadequate public schools is a big issue in Adebote’s eyes. She believes that the government must control schools and enhance education. Several decision-makers concur with her. Lagos State’s legislative body recently urged that before approving a private school, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu must check that it meets basic standards.
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