An educationist, Mrs Ann Oparah, on Friday said that the private schools now contributed immensely to develop national education which is a critical sector.
Oparah, Proprietor of the Brilliant Academy, Agege, Lagos, made the revelation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on the sidelines of the school’s Prize Giving Day and end of session party.
The seasoned educational administrator said that the future of education now rested on the outputs from the private schools which were now more viable and giving out more good results.
“In private schools, we strive to make parents happy because the onus rests on us to deliver the very best of qualitative education, not that we want to satisfy them alone, but to justify our fees.
“In private school, we must give it all when it comes to quality not 90 but 110 per cent.
“For us as private investors in education, we now contribute more than 60 per cent of what government is giving. This is a statement of fact which is verifiable; it is true that education is expensive.
“In private schools, we spend a lot in training and re-training of teachers, but rather than encourage us, the government often over-burdens us with heavy taxes,’’ Oparah said.
She also disclosed that government could only help the private investors in education with tax incentives and reduction in other levies.
“The taxes on private schools is a burden and this is not encouraging at all, this is making things difficult for the private school owners.
“It is much of a belief that private schools are for business and profiteering alone, these assumptions are bad because education is a critical sector that we cannot afford to fully commercialise.
“Government should understand that there are more things to take care of in education more than the taxes government is expecting from us can be channeled to something more worthwhile.
“In terms of welfare, we need to have a standard practice whereby teachers will be entitled to retirement benefits across board, this will serve as motivation than burden,’’ she said.
Oparah said the results from the external examinations show lots of difference between the quality of education that reside in public and private schools.
“The results from the external examinations such as West African Examination Council (WAEC), Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), National Examination Council (NECO) are testimonies of fact between public and private schools.
“More students from private schools come out strong and better in these examinations which are verifiable from the examination bodies.
“The private schools have higher percentage of passes more than their public counterparts. In my school, I make sure that all the matters in the syllabus are treated.
“There is no room for laxity in private schools even in terms of investment, we don’t mind being indebted just to see that things are well marshalled as far as qualitative education is concerned,’’ she said.
Oparah, a product of the University of Lagos, said that private schools now invest heavily in laboratories, scientific training and entrepreneurial studies because it was the future of education.
“Private schools now invest heavily in laboratories for practical because that is the future of our students; we want them to excel in the sciences.
“We also invest in entrepreneurial studies because we want our students to be well rounded in education so that they will be independent and engage in more critical thinking.
“At Brilliant Academy, we have Entrepreneurial Department for our students and the workshop is well equipped. For fashion design, we have more than 10 sowing machines.
“Also for the carpentry workshop, we have equipment so also the mechanical and others,’’ she said.
(Editing by Peter Ejiofor)
Kaura LG caretaker committee donates furniture, instructional material to primary schools
The Caretaker Committee, Kaura Local Government Area, Kaduna state has donated furniture and instructional materials to primary schools in the area.
Its Chairman, Mr Bege Katukah while presenting the items to the local council education authority, described them as vital to academic learning.
He said that the caretaker committee would not relent in its efforts to ensure that primary schools in the area were effective.
“By this donation of 329 desks and instructional material, we have demonstrated our commitment to the effective running of the primary school system.
“As a committee, we shall not relent in our efforts to make public primary schools in the area very conducive for learning,” he said.
katukah urged parents in the area to show commitment to the education of their children by getting them enrolled in the school system.
He also urged teachers to live up to their billings by being dedicated to their duty of imparting knowledge to the younger generations.
In his remarks, Mr Jibril Musa, the council’s Education Secretary, commended the chairman for the gesture.
He expressed the authority’s commitment towards ensuring proper use of the items and for the purpose they were donated.
“This is commendable, we shall ensure proper use of these items, they must be subjected to the reasons for which they were donated,” he said.
Edited & Vetted By: Azubuike Okeh/Tukur Muntari.
Association commends FG on transportation university
The Daura Emirate Development Association (DEDA) has described the just concluded ground breaking ceremony of the University of Transportation Daura in Katsina State as a clear manifestation of Federal government’s commitment toward repositioning the nation’s education sector.
DEDA, in a statement by its spokesperson Kabir Yari made available to the Nigeria News Agency in Daura on Friday, described the development as an essential milestone in the history of university education in Nigeria.
The association noted that the initiative would lay solid foundation for nurturing and training the needed human resources that would efficiently and effectively plan, implement, operate and maintain railway in Nigeria.
According to the DEDA, the move would also boost other systems of transportation and infrastructure.
It added that the brilliant idea would reduce the cost of doing business due to better and more efficient transport services as well as facilitate rapid economic development.
The association said the choice of the site of the university in Daura was a well thought idea.
The association noted that Daura was incidentally on the route of the proposed Trans -Haran road which crossed to the neighboring Niger republic.
“The choice of Daura will increase urbanisation and open doors for scholarship,” it said.
DEDA further expressed optimism that the institution would provide opportunities to teeming Nigerians desirous for university education, especially those nursing the idea of making career in special engineering courses.
It noted that the proposed rail line by the Federal government which would reach up to Maradi in Niger republic would boost international economic relationship between Nigeria and her neighbours.
According to it, the facilities can be utilised for practical experiences of students of the university.
The association lauds the efforts of all those who contributed toward establishing the university, especially President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Ameachi, members of National Assembly and Katsina State Government for allocating spacious land for the project.
Edited & Vetted By: Dada Ahmed
Enugu Government equips over 230 schools with ICT facilities
The Enugu State Government says it has equipped over 230 of the 292 government secondary schools in the state with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) laboratories.
Mr Nestor Ezema, Chairman Enugu State Post Primary School Management Board (PPSMB), said this on Thursday during a quarterly oversight visit by the State House of Assembly Committee on Education to the board.
He said that this had become necessary to encourage computer literacy among students.
Ezema said the idea behind the project was that ICT should become an integral part of the lives of every student and also integrated into education system because ICT was awash with infinite information.
The board chairman said to achieve the goals, government recruited 1,000 teachers while 843 volunteer teachers were also converted to permanent teachers in the state.
He said the board targeted those at the rural areas first because they were always short changed in scheme of things.
Ezema, while giving other reports, identified cultism among students as the major challenge militating against the activities of the board.
He however, said that the board expelled eight students this year over cult related issues, while parents were sensitised on properly monitoring their children while at home because they stay more at home than in school.
Ezeme also said that the board had set up a rehabilitation unit that would help in reforming expelled students before reabsorbing them to avoid bad influence on other students.
The board chairman said that the board had accessed up to 90 per cent of their 2019 budget.
The Chairman of the committee, Mr James Akadu, commended the state government for the prompt payment of teachers’ salaries and leave allowances.
Akadu expressed happiness that all the education institutions in the state were doing well, adding that all their subventions were also increased.
He thanked the board for the job well done, especially for putting up measure to curb the menace of cultism among students.
Edited & Vetted By: Hawa Lawal/Maureen Atuonwu
Don seeks creation of wildlife ministry
Prof. Gbolagade Lameed, a professor of Wildlife and Ecotourism at University of Ibadan , on Thursday called for the creation of a separate Ministry of Wildlife at all levels of government to boost conservation.
Lameed urged the Federal Government to revisit the laws and decrees that established the National Parks in the country to become effective for modern day natural resources management.
“It is high time Wildlife had separate ministries and departments at local, state and national levels of government.
“If concerted efforts are made in the right direction such as increasing fund allocation to management of wildlife conservation in the country, it will witness stability in their population and present opportunity for sustainable management.
“The Federal Government should establish more parks in different zones. This will present opportunity for ecotourism development thereby opening doors for employment opportunities.
“Government should serve as a major stakeholder in natural resources management and thereby assume the role of good custodian of the resources,” he said.
Lameed, who also made other recommendations such as environmental education toward developing a world of citizenry who were concerned about the environment, urged government to harness its economic opportunities.
“When we see the environment as an entity to which we rather belong to, then, we may begin to use it with love and respect, thus we become good custodians,” he said,.
(Edited & Vetted By: Chioma Ugboma/Mufutau Ojo)
Oyo SUBEB Chairman inspects intervention projects in primary schools
The statement quoted Adeniran as reiterating the importance of the projects to the improvement of basic education in the state.
He expressed satisfaction with the standard and the speed at which the projects were being executed, saying most of them would have been ready before the second term resumption in January 2020.
Adeniran said that the completion of the projects would ease the commencement of the 2018 intervention projects, noting that the inspection had become necessary in view of the governor’s passion for the sector.
NAN reports that the chairman’s first point of call was Methodist Primary School, Bodija, Ibadan, where he assured the school authorities that government would soon site a model school there, in fulfilment of the government’s pledge to improve learning in the state.
“Therefore, let me plead with the traders displaying their wares at the entrance of the school, thus blocking the entrance, to please vacate the space, as a big project will soon commence here,” he said.
Adeniran also visited Anwaru-Islam Primary School I, II and III, Eleyele and St. Peter’s Primary School, Aremo, where he urged the contractors on site to speed up the projects, against resumption of the pupils in January 2020.
He also that the project at Elewura Community Primary School, Elewura, had been completed and was already being used by the pupils.
Speaking on the recent vandalism of facilities in public schools by hoodlums, the chairman said that government would henceforth ensure arrest and prosecution of anyone found disturbing the peace of schools, during and after school hours.
NAN reports that Adeniran also monitored the ongoing unified examinations in some of the public primary schools he visited.
He said that the essence of the monitoring exercise was to ensure that quality returned to the education system in the state.
The chairman noted that the Makinde-led administration had strengthened the unified examination so as to nurture the pupils from the scratch, adding “this will go a long way in curbing failure.
“This government has paid for the unified examination for public primary schools in the state, while the past administration rested its responsibilities on the shoulders of the parents.
“With this examination, we can know the competence level of each pupil we are nurturing and know how to help them.
“With this kind gesture by the governor, no pupil will be absent based on lack of funds,” Adeniran said.
Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq
Be committed to tracking basic education project, plug hole of corruption- NGO
Mrs Olufunso Owasanoye, the Executive Director, HDI-Nigeria, made the call at a two-day training programme to strengthen the existing structures in the sector.
Owasanoye said, “Basic education will only thrive when members of the school Board Management Committees, Parents’ Forum and stakeholders groups are involved and committed to tracking basic education project and service delivery.
“Together, let’s plug the hole of corruption.’’
According to Owasanoye, the training is also to build the capacity of the community monitoring teams so that they could do better.
“Those that have been doing it before or those that are just joining, we don’t just want activities again, we want result.
“It is not like before, there are new strategies coming up and you are Monitoring and Evaluating (M and E) agents and M and E will be done on you.
“It is going to be like proper office work, you will go by 9.00a.m and return 5.00p.m, you will have schedule, you have duty and responsibility.
“You will be given us report because from this date, you don’t know the greater heights you are going to,” she said.
The executive director urged any of the local monitoring teams, who was not interested in the new innovation, to leave the training, adding that it was no longer business as usual.
Also, Mr James Fadokun, a trainer from the National Institute for Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA), urged the M and E agents not to accept gratification from contractors handling UBE projects in Lagos.
He said that some members of agents that were collecting gratification from contractors had been expelled when the NGO found out that they were not sincere with their monitoring.
Fadokun said that the community-based monitoring teams would achieve their aims through factual, teamwork, investigative journalism and professionalism.
In his remarks, Mr Tayo Adelana, a staff of the HDI, urged the M and E agent to be objective, accountable and transparent in their monitoring.
Adelana also said that they should be social auditors in supervising projects in their local area.
“When supervising a building projects, no special favour should be given or solicited and no politicisation of the monitoring process must be allowed,” he said.
Edited & Vetted By: Olagoke Olatoye
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