14 December 2017

Nigeria: Administrator Seeks Subvention for Private Schools

Administrator, Grace Schools, Gbagada, Mrs Tokunbo Edun has called on the government to give subvention to private schools to encourage them and enhance greater service delivery.

She said since public schools have not been able to deliver as expected, private school owners who strive to offer qualitative education should be encouraged by government through grants and subventions.

Edun who spoke with reporters on the forthcoming 50th anniversary of the school cited incessant harassment and arrest of school buses by government officials over non-payment of taxes.

She specifically lamented multiplicity of taxes imposed on private school owners and called for urgent government intervention.

"Since public schools have not been able to deliver on qualitative and sound education, government should encourage private school owners through grants and subventions. Besides, it should provide a conducive atmosphere for schools to operate. A situation where we are daily harassed and assaulted by government officials who imposed multiple taxes on us is not encouraging."

Edun also identified inconsistent government policy and outdated curriculum as some of the challenges confronting the sector.

Reminding that education is key to national development, the school administrator said government must properly fund the sector to make it globally competitive and relevant.

She said, "Most Nigerians would agree that the state of many of our public educational institutions is nothing to write home about. Until recently, the trend is for teaching and non teaching staff in public schools to go on strike to press for payment of their salaries and provision of necessary facilities that could make the school function maximally. The major problem has been funding of education since no government has met the minimum funding level recommended by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). Government has to be more serious with funding of education because it is the key to national development."

She added, "With illiteracy rate still as high as 35 percent in a population of about 180m people, it means quite a large number of our people cannot quite participate actively in the development process. We urge government at all levels to give the sector the priority attention it deserves if we want to achieve our national development goals.

While reeling out some of its achievements in the last 50 years, Mrs Edun said the school, which came into existence to address the yearning by parents for an alternative to the federal government Unity Colleges, has excelled in various competitions both at the national and international levels.

With well qualified teachers, state of the art facilities and a conducive environment, Edun said the school has produced exemplary students who are excelling in their choosing fields.

Founded by the late Chief Bisola Oshinowo, the administrator reassured that high moral standard and academic integrity remain their watchword.


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