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Mathew Oluwaseun
University of Ilorin (Unilorin)
Mechanical Engineering
500Level, Nigeria.
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The Director of Toddlers Haven and Everest Heights Academy, Gwagwalada, Abuja, Dr Bukola Dosumu, has called on the institutions regulating the activities of private schools to strengthen their mandate and sanction those deviating from the norm.

In an interview on Wednesday during the 15th annual thanksgiving and rededication service of the school, Dosumu suggested that private schools which fell short of the standards should be shut down.

She said, “The government should conduct adequate and effective census of the schools that we have in this country. They have done something like that before and they generated minimum standards of operation. The schools were given enough time to meet the minimum standards. If after this period, the schools don’t meet them, they can take a drastic step by closing down the schools. This is because some of us are not called for it; it is the government that created the vacuum; it is government’s inability to provide quality education that brought in private schools.” she said.

According to her, the major challenge facing the private school business was the same affecting the private sector. “The fact is that our institutions that should seek to enforce standards, institutions that should protect consumers, are weak, as such they add to the challenges. By regulatory agencies, I am talking about the Federal Ministry of Education, State Ministries of Education, Department of Quality Assurance in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and zonal education offices.

“There is so much responsibility on the private sector today, that is why you see a lot of schools continuously springing up and they won’t stop springing up because there is a vacuum and nature abhors vacuum. So, the challenges are the general environmental factors and part of it is when mediocre flood the system.

“The regulatory institutions are weak and the entry requirements are virtually zero. Somebody is selling fish today, tomorrow he is running a school. People just put up structures and we think such structures are real. These are the challenges that the genuine people running education in the private sector are facing. By and large, we are weathering the storm, we have associations that we are using to raise the standards. It is simply because the regulation is poorthat is why ownership of private schools have become everybody’s affair.

“In developed countries, you can’t just start a school.There are processes that must be followed and certain conditions they must be satisfied with before you can start running a school. But in Nigeria, even when we tell them we want to start a private school, they will say ‘start, we will come and check’ and by the time they come and check, you may have already put in so much money and they will find it difficult to close down the school.”

Dosumu recommended that if opening a bank required the certification of the Securities and Exchange Commission and other banking regulators, the same thorough process should also be put in place in the education sector.

“Can you just start ahospital without the input of stakeholders, including the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria? Education and health are basic services which form the bedrock of any national development plan. If we are talking of 2019 general elections, anybody coming should pay attention to education, health and macro economic indices that determine the operation of the private sector and our institutions.” she said.

Source: https://punchng.com/close-substandard-private-schools-proprietress-advises-fg/

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