• Sunday, July 21, 2024
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BusinessDay

Education and the private sector fetish

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Whenever people believe or are made to believe that private sector services or operations are ipso facto efficient and effective I become disturbed because I consider such belief a misrepresentation of the realities in Nigeria.

The grim realities in virtually every sphere of our lives in Nigeria show that just as the public sector has its inadequacies in delivering public goods so also do private sector concerns run roughshod over delivery of satisfactory services to its customers especially as they operate in an “unregulated society”.

Examples abound in private hospitals, private businesses, small, medium and big, and private schools now mushrooming in all nooks and crannies in a clime where education supervision is non-existent.

Every year Nigerians moan over mass failure in certifying exams conducted by WAEC and NECO, yet nothing is done to tackle this anomaly and menace from its roots. The foundation of every structure or process determines its growth.

The innumerable quack nursery/primary schools that inundate every corner of our urban landscape that provides no sound educational foundation for our children should indeed provoke the concern of education authorities, and political leaders that are currently gerrymandering in search of peoples’ votes.

In these sub-standard primary schools their proprietors share one common passion: to make merchandise of parents and pupils. They charge exorbitant fees, deliver wrong values, largely engage non-professionals as teachers, pay their staff peanuts and run their schools not in accordance with any known educational philosophy, but only to meet their pecuniary and egoistic needs.

This dangerous trend should not be allowed to continue. Education is on the concurrent list for federal and state governments. Thus all relevant authorities at these levels of government must rise up and stop these ‘merchants of ignorance’ from ruining the nation’s human capital.

IKENNA OBI