There is no doubt that Africa still has a long way to go in the education sector. The future of education in Africa is now is in hands of the privately owned institutions. Oh yes! More and more parents prefer to send their children and wards to privately owned schools because they believe that their children and wards stand to get a better education if they attend private schools.
Aren’t Private Schools Expensive?
Yes, private schools are pretty expensive, but in Africa there are private schools and there are public schools.
Nigeria for example has lots of private schools. In the city of Lagos, there are more private schools than public schools. There are some nursery schools that are run in spaces that are less than 800 square meters! Cheap private schools charge about 25,000 (about $167 USD) per term (there are three terms in an academic session). While the expensive schools charge from (about $3400 USD) per term – obviously, only the children of the rich can afford to attend the very expensive schools. The private universities and polytechnics are also very expensive and some are exclusively for children of the society’s crème de la crème.
Why Private Schools?
There are so many reasons why most parents would prefer to starve so that they can afford to send their children off to private schools; some of these reasons include:
Better Educational Facilities
The top private schools boast of advanced educational facilities such as computers, laboratory equipments, tools and equipments for executing projects such as wood work, sewing; and most importantly, these schools offer a much better learning environment.
Top private schools only hire qualified teaching (and non teaching) staff. As matter of fact, some of them even run a background check on the teachers they hire. Many of the mushroom private schools scattered around cities like Lagos and other parts of the country hire the first high school graduate that possesses teaching skills and can speak and write English acceptably. There are so many unqualified teachers in these mushroom private schools claiming to “impart” knowledge in students they teach.
A Variety of Subjects to Learn
Public schools offer limited subjects to students, while private schools offer a variety of subjects to students in order to broaden their scope. Many private schools offer dance classes, French classes, Spanish classes, music classes, etiquette classes and field trips outside the country.
Education In Africa Needs A Conducive Learning Environment
Students in top private schools are provided with an environment that is conducive for learning. If a child gets bullied in a private school, parents can count on the school management to do something about the situation. Whereas, in public schools, so-called “weak” students are bullied all the time and “nothing” is done about it – many of the teachers claim that they have other things to worry about, than dealing with a student that is “too weak” to defend himself or herself when his/her peers trouble them.
Can Every Parent Afford to Send their Children to Private Schools?
The answer is NO! The average Nigerian parent earns about 30,000 naira ($210 USD) per month! Many of these parents have no choice than to enroll their children in public schools and hope that the child is able to get some education that could open doors of opportunities for them in the future.