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The perceived failure of public schools in the country

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 Nigerian educational system. Issues that affect the performance of education are issues of concern to families, communities, local, states and federal governments.

Governments at all 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. Some of the reasons for the creation of private schools are: 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 the areas); restoring and sustaining quality (not because they have qualified staff in the right proportions but that they ensure what is to be done rightly at the right time); restoring and sustaining discipline (among staff and students because they have the will power to do so added to the fact that they do not want their investment to collapse); effective monitoring and supervision of academic activities (the presence of the proprietor is regularly felt); running stable academic calendar as they rarely go on strike; staff dedication and seriousness to duties; producing students that are globally competitive, etc. All these have contributed to the failure of public schools in Nigeria. 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. 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.

Education is a critical sector that needs maximum attention in every society. 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.

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

By: Maduike Ifeoma

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