By V. AL-PEA
After reviewing some of the public schools in Plateau State in an earlier article, we received a cold response from the State Government. Our goal by any means is not to antagonize the Plateau State Government. We wish to be fair in our reporting, but also to highlight the positive and negative in order that they may better serve their citizens. With that being said, we further investigated the issue of education by looking at private schools in Plateau State. We would like to continue to keep looking at education in Plateau State in order to give a balanced picture of the issue.
A recent survey conducted by TMV indicates that in a cluster of about 30 to 50 Nigerian houses, one to two is a private school. Some people interpreted these steady proliferations as a result of government’s insensitiveness and inability to properly manage public schools.
At the Nanmak Comprehensive Secondary School, the principal, Mr. Brengshak N. Daniel who voluntarily spoke to TMV asserted that it was the government’s neglect of the public schools that has given rise to more private schools. “The way the government has neglected the public schools now. If you take a visit to some of the public schools you will find out that the basic facilities students require in the classrooms are not there”.
This prodded TMV to visit the Government Secondary School, Kyan Rikkos where one of the teaching staff spoke to TMV on condition of anonymity. Although the source agreed that government was trying to resuscitate education in public schools by providing the necessary facilities, “one of the major problems in the public schools is instability. For instance, it’s barely three weeks now that we resumed from industrial action. This ends up affecting the students negatively,” our source explained.
Mr. Sunday Abraham, a retired teacher who taught in both public and private schools offered his opinion on the issue. “In private schools there is close monitoring. It is usually owned by individual or organizations that closely monitor activities of teaching and non-teaching staff alike. But in public schools, just like in other government owned offices, the lackadaisical attitude of staff is made manifest. Is it the late coming to work or absolute nonchalance to work and at the end of the day they are paid their salaries.” Mr. Abraham further regretted that the situation was never like this some years back where the best schools you have in the country were public schools that have “graduated the best brains this country can boast of.”
“So many things are responsible for the lack of quality tuition in public schools today. Even the parents share in the blame. You can’t put the blame on government alone.” Mr. Pam Bot, an education consultant said. “In those days parents always made it a duty to find out their children’s performances in their schools, but nowadays they seem to leave everything to the teachers.” Mr. Bot maintained.
As TMV sampled public opinion about which of the schools should send his or her child to, 89% expressed that although private schools are more expensive than public schools and irrespective of the harsh economic conditions in the country, they would rather send their children to private schools than public schools.