Why public education failed the country — Educationist

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By Ebun Sessou & Jumoke Kolawole

Mrs. Seun Feyisetan is the Public Relations Officer, Edidot Schools. In this interview, she speaks on the establishment of private school as a means to complement public education. She also reveals the success stories of the school.

Creation of private school?

The reasons for private participation in the establishment of school at whatever levels of the educational system in Nigeria are not farfetched. The fact that qualitative education is important and should not be compromised prompted the need for private schools in Nigeria educational system.

Issues that affect the performance of education are issues of concern to families, communities, local, states and federal governments. Governments at all the levels in Nigeria are seen to be helplessly watching public structures and institutions collapsing and some in a dangerous state of coma with little or no hope of being revived.

Providing admissions to many teeming applicants seeking admissions on a yearly basis (many Nigerians who can afford the fees they charge have been relieved in this area)

Restoring and sustaining quality (not because they have qualified staff in the right proportions but that they ensure what is to be done be done rightly and at the right time)

Another area is restoring and sustaining discipline (among staff and students because they have they will power to do so added to the fact that they don’t want their investment to collapse)

Effective monitoring and supervision of academic activities (the presence of the proprietor is regularly felt)

Another aspect is running stable academic calendar which has rarely go on strike. Demanding staff dedication and seriousness to duties. Discouraging examination malpractice, producing students that are globally competitive. All these are the reasons for the creation of private school.

• Mrs. Seun Feyisetan

The roles that private schools play in rescuing the battered image of education in Nigeria are very highly commendable but there are some issues that are really retarding or staining these good efforts and these issues need to be addressed.

Due to Nigeria’s developmental challenges, public education its theory and lots of parents are losing confidence in the public education, hence, the need for private school. In the last twelve years, private schools have been tremendously wonderful and that is what is giving kids good education.

What are the issues to be addressed to improve the performances of private schools in Nigeria?

One of the major challenges is the issue of exorbitant school fees and regular upward review of fees. Some private schools have taken the advantage to be extorting people in the name of school fees without giving quality service to complement the school fees.

Another issue is proliferation of substandard institutions, promotion of class consciousness and distinctions. The use of unqualified teachers and administrative staff is another area to look at as well as inadequate provision of infrastructural facilities and examination malpractice

So, would you like to talk about the challenges you are faced with in terms of school fees in Edidot?

Edidot was a God’s given vision by our proprietress. She tells her story and the vision to build a school. The vision of the school is high in terms of giving quality education to children.

The school is a non-profit organization built with the vision to give quality education to children. We have challenges in terms of parents who are unable to pay their wards’ school fees and what the school does is to have engage the parents in a mutual conversation to be able to have a common ground. We believe in communication as a key to a stable relationship with our parents. We have some kids who were put in scholarship. The money we get from the school is not enough to run the operation of the school. And when we have financial challenges, we call on the the management on how to move the school forward. Other challenges include setting high standard for the students so, we are creating generations to be a better leader tomorrow.

What is your take on the books students use. In the past, it was easy for another generation to make use of books used by another generation but the case is different now?

Ministry of education is in the position to respond in that capacity. It determines the books we use, the scheme of work we use each year as it comes with strategy. There are some books that are recycled like dictionary.

You earlier mentioned that the vision of  Edidot  is to build quality education for children, do you think you are getting there and what are the challenges?

I believe, we are still moving on. There is room for improvement and that is why it is very difficult to say, we are there already.

Education is a critical sector that needs maximum attention. Training and nurturing of children are major challenges that must be addressed keenly. Training every child and family is different. Each child has his or her potentials and that is why children should not be treated the same way.

Child comparism is a taboo in education and that is why it is important for every parent to understand their children.

For us, we have student from all over the world including Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia and one of the things we do is to take care of children cases including rivalry among children. There are different issues relating to children and we have successfully addressed them. In the school, good character is a must.

The truth is that, addressing education from the family point of view is key and that is also taken care of. We invest a lot in our children.

Success story of Edidot Schools

One of the success story of the school is a student, Miss Anjola Eotoke, a nine years old who wrote SSCE and made all her papers. She was in primary five. She got a scholarship to go to school in Canada but she cannot be admitted in the University now because she is still young. There are lots of success stories that the school has recorded overtime.

Advice for parents

It is important to give your child praise and positive feedback because children especially young ones measure their worth and achievements by what you think. But be realistic in your praise. If a child fails at something or shows no talent at a particular skill, praise the effort, but don’t unrealistically praise the results. Reassure your child that it is fine not to be able to do everything perfectly. Tell him that some things take repeated effort and practice and sometimes it is fine to move on after you’ve given your best effort.

Self-confident children are willing to try new things without fear of failure. With younger children, you will need to supervise from the sidelines. Set up situations where she can do things for herself and make sure the situation is safe but then give her space. For example, demonstrate how to make a sandwich and then let her try it on her own, without your hovering or intervening.

Encourage exploration, whether it’s a trip to a new park or new foods at mealtime. Day trips and outings, new hobbies, vacations and trips with teammates or schoolmates can all expand your child’s horizons and build confidence in her ability to handle new situations.

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