The Rector, The Polytechnic Igbo – Owu, kwara State, Dr. Moses Sunday Adeyemi said, education is the most powerful weapon which has the potential to change the world.
According to him, out of all agencies of education, school is the only formal and important agent that must be taken seriously for the advancement of the society.
Dr. Adeyemi stated this while presenting a lecture titled, ‘ Strategic Educational Factors for Sustainability of Private Schools in Nigeria new Dispensation,’ at a function in Ilorin, recently.
He however, expressed dismay over the rate at which Nigeria’s education policies were undergoing various unnecessary changes, especially in the last decades, saying that the incessant changes was making the system very unstable.
The Rector explained that each policy change affects majority of all other policies, since all policies are geared towards national goal.
” Such frequent change often have multiplier effects on the activities of every organizations and individuals in the nation.The problem or question now is how do private schools fair in the calculation of different policies and how do we sustain our schools in Nigeria’s ever growing instability and harsh conditions”,he said.
He identified other factors that were adversely affecting the progress of the nation’s education system in recent times to include insecurity, harsh economy condition, growing competitions, high and multiple taxes and social maladies among others.
Adeyemi who double as the proprietor of The Polytechnic, Igbo – Owu said, ” as a result of insecurity, students are kidnaped for ransom, killed and enslaved, while as a result of the persisting harsh economy condition, parents could not pay their wards bills and school could not sustain their overhead expenses.
” High and multiple taxes, growing competitions, unsanitized school environment, legal and illegal schools competing situation also affect the education system.
” Social maladies, students lack of reading culture, laziness,quick money syndrome, cash for marks and other vices are parts of the problems confronting the country’s education system.”
Adeyemi who is a foremost management consultant and trainer, said the ugly situation was posing a threat to survival of private schools in the country, as such schools are managing to stay afloat, according to a survey recently conducted.
” Many of the schools are already drowning while some have drowned and closed down or sold out by the proprietors. Some schools are leased out.
While, many schools are only sustained with bank loans, family funds e.t.c.”, he explained.
While suggesting practical solutions in addressing the pitiable condition of private schools, Dr. Adeyemi, the proprietor of the foremost private polytechnic in Kwara State, said the strategic operational factors to sustain private schools in Nigeria new dispensation are :
” 1. Accountability: schools should have a veritable Bursary/Account department that keeps all accounting records as it is the only source to measure the school performance for evaluations.
“II. Planning, Budgeting and Execution: from your account records, you can plan, budget, execute and control your expenses.
“III. Prudency: this is an action to curb extravagances in spending. Some proprietors spend more than their income. Proprietors should put themselves on salaries.
“IV. Monitoring and Control: from your planning and budgeting, you take total charge and control to avoid excessive spending.
“V. Structural & Infrastructural Improvement: we should ensure yearly maintainance of our school buildings, furnitures e.t.c.
“VI. Strategic Marketing : Good marketing strategies should be carried out not only when admission is ongoing but at all times, advertisement on radio, papers, face-book, twitter, bill boards e.t.c.
“VII. Employer, Employee, Students/Pupils, Parent, Relationship: a good relationship between the five stakeholders is very important for sustainability of private schools.
“VIII. Ploughing back into the business: a percentage of your surplus / profit should be invested back to the school either to add value to the infrastructure or improve them. Creating a conducive environment for teaching and learning is also important
“IX. Effective Communication: there should be good communication and ensure there is no gap in communication between proprietor and staffs, students and parents as a complement to number (VII) above.
“X. Motivation: the schools should motivate the staffs by ways of promotion, training and hopefulness. Students can be motivated by awarding prizes to best students in academic, neatness, promptness etc.
“XI. Usage of ICT: Information Technology has brought changes in various dimensions. Teaching and other operations can be digitalized
“XII. Commitment to excellent academic standard: even though students, parents are no more ready for academic stress but the school should be committed to a good standard of education. Many interesting methods can be adopted to impact on students and pupils.
“XII . Encouragement, Engagement and Collaboration: as it is being done by the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools ( NAPPS ) bringing schools proprietors and students together, to share ideas and work together is equally necessary.
“XIV. Audit: please every year try to engage consultants, auditors to help you audit your work and recommend ways to improve your works. All the above factors, if well worked out, it is capable of will bringing about sustainability in private schools under the Nigeria’s new dispensation.
” In conclusion: I know some of the activities above will require professional approach. I will like to encourage NAPPS under the able leadership of our president Dr. Ajibola to propose in-depth training on some key areas above, for members to be able to carry out some operations.
“Members can equally engage professionals at a very reduced rate to carryout consultancy work for them on their school activities for proper evaluation, recommendations and progress”.