Nikdel Private School, Agodi G.R.A, Ibadan is one of the standard private primary schools in Oyo State. The Proprietress, Chief Modupe Adeleke, in this interview with Kehinde Adio, speaks about her passion for the teaching profession, activities, success stories of Nickdel School in the last 30 years, among other educational issues. Excerpts:
What informed your participation in private school business?
Passion was what motivated me into the teaching profession. I taught for many years in public school. I rose to the position of a principal before I ventured into setting up a private school, some 30 years ago with a vision of making quality education affordable and accessible to all and sundry in the state. The dream gave birth to Nickdel Private School. The success story of Nickdel Private school and the demand for more standard private schools in the state led to the establishment of other schools we have today, sited in a strategic locations in the city of Ibadan, Lagos and Osun State. As a matter of fact, I love to mold and impact lives in an effective way more than what I was doing while in the public school setting. Today, to the glory of God, Nickdel Private School is 30 years old and our 30th anniversary ceremony is on going. In fact, the grand finale will be held on Saturday with the luncheon of the school’s magazine.
What does it take to run a standard school?
Finance is very essential for effective take-off of a standard school. There is a need to provide a serene environment that would be conducive enough for teaching and learning. Also, there should be provision for teach
ing aids, employment of qualified teachers, especially those who have passion for teaching. Most importantly, there must be an effective monitoring, inspection and supervision of both academic and non-academic activities to ensure quality assurance. School business cannot be run as food provision shops; the proprietor must be an educationist and should be on the ground to ensure the smooth running of the school. Nickdel Private School took off with most of its equipments from the United Kingdom. So, from day one, it has been our dream to provide qualitative education and every effort was made to achieve it.
Can you identify some of the challenges facing educational advancement in Nigeria?
Firstly, Nigeria lacks teachers with passion. This is one of the major problems that is affecting quality education and academic stability in the country. It cuts across all the levels of education in all our education system. Teaching profession is not meant for everybody. That someone has all the qualifications even the Teachers’ Registration Certificate does not make him\her a good teacher.The person may not have passion for the work and skill to impact knowledge. A teacher with passion will never want to go on strike for any reason because of his love for the job and the students. Passionate and professional teachers or lecturers, as the case may be, will always put their best into the job, against all odds. These are the types of teachers we need in our education system at all levels. Everybody cannot be teachers.
Secondly, poor funding remains a big issue in the Nigerian education system and it is yet to be addressed. This funding problem is affecting all the stakeholders in the education sector. People must be ready to pay for quality education, while government must vote enough fund to education system.
Also,the attitude of some stakeholders to education calls for attention. For instance, at the primary and secondary levels, some parents no longer show keen interest in the education of their children. Children engage in truancy, while teachers themselves are not playing the local parents position as they ought to. The society as well as all religious groups should not neglect their roles in the educational development process of the country.
Moreover, private school venture initiative in Nigeria is going through some sort of setbacks. It is sad to note that many private school owners are on bank loans and the ever-increasing annual tax being levied on private schools is killing; many schools have folded up. Private investors in education must be encouraged as government alone cannot provide the educational need of the society.
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