Quality education is a sin qua non for the development of any nation or society. It is the bedrock of modern human civilization and a veritable tool for inculcating values and ideas required for social transformation and sustainable growth. Therefore, quality primary education is key to quality education delivery in Africa most importantly as a developing continent of the world. Government Primary School Establishment Approval is key to eradicating illegal schools.
Education [primary education] generally is on the concurrent list in the Nigerian constitution. This means that primary School establishment approval is the sole duty of the state government. However, the Federal government exclusively reserves some executive rights to establish, approve and monitor schools from Primary, secondary to the Tertiary level. With the limitation on the Primary education establishment/ approval, the state government having exclusive rights seems to un-efficiently and in-effectively handling or kid-gloving the entire sector there letting a very poor and fragile primary education foundation.
IMPORTANCE OF QUALITY PRIMARY EDUCATION
Below is the importance of primary education and why Primary School Establishment Approval is necessary:
- Like the name goes “Primary Education” it has to do with grass-roots education
- It is the very beginning of any formal education
- It broadens the minds of that young, tender, evergreen, naive growing, innocent growing child.
- It equips that young growing individual with the power for independent thinking.
- Primary education gives a child the ability to acquire the requisite knowledge to fit into his or her society.
- It produces the right individuals for both Secondary and Tertiary education.
- Determines the quality of youths produced by the Secondary and Tertiary sectors.
- It produces smart, civilized, and creative kids ready to undertake higher education for individual and national development.
- It is the greatest weapon against poverty and helps to reduce poverty in all ramifications.
- It promotes peace, love, and unity amongst growing children as they interact in the classroom at that tender stage of their lives.
- It promotes the standard of living in society.
With the above-stated importance of primary education in early child development, one can say without any fear of contradiction that Primary education is as important as life. This informs the reason why Maya Angelou avers that when one knows better one does better.
THE CHALLENGES OF PRIMARY SCHOOL
The challenges of primary education establishment approval and management are so numerous, however, I shall briefly summarize them below:
- The government monopoly on education
- Acute shortage of teachers
- Lack of Qualified teachers
- Inadequate infrastructure
- Lack of library and science equipment
- Accommodation challenges
- Mobility for education supervisors
- Wrong free education notion
- Poor effective school monitoring
- Government embargo on recruitment
- Poor community school relationship etc.
- Non-availability of teaching aids
PRIVATE-PUBLIC PARTNERSHIP ON PRIMARY SCHOOL ESTABLISHMENT & MANAGEMENT [PRIMARY EDUCATION]
In order to salvage these ugly challenges stated above, there is a serious need for private-public partnership on primary education. I recommend in strong terms a synergy between the Federal government, State government and the private sector since government alone cannot cater to the teeming population of Nigeria. This will in no small measure drive development into the sector.
Suffice to say that there are lots of abuses today in the education sector. It is a common belief that the standard of education in Nigeria dwindled after the civil war. That followed the fact that the Nigerian government placed more emphasis on a certificate rather than Knowledge thereby making merchant of the sector and even monopolizing it.
WHAT IS ILLEGAL PRIMARY SCHOOL ESTABLISHMENT
An Illegal primary school is an unapproved primary school the State Ministry of Education whose statutory duty is to inspect, supervise, monitor, and approve any school at all established in the State for the State government. The conversion of the education sector into a business venture has led to the proliferation of illegal and substandard schools to boom in Nigeria today.
These illegal primary schools are located in uncompleted buildings, dilapidated houses, and ill-constructed make-shift. Some of these proprietors rent a three-bedroom apartment where they start school with their family members and school drop-outs and ill-baked teachers as tutors. Their scheme of work can never be in line with the State government policy on Education. We must commend the effort of Ministry of education, UBEC and other agencies for their efforts so far in the war against illegal schools.
WHOSE FAULT IS ILLEGAL PRIMARY SCHOOL ESTABLISHMENT IT?
If you ask me I will tell you that it is the fault of a failed state. These are the bye product of:
- Bad leadership/government
- Mismanagement/ miss appropriation of public fund and scarce resources
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WAY FORWARD TO THE CHALLENGE OF ILLEGAL PRIMARY SCHOOL ESTABLISHMENT IN NIGERIA
- Empower these proprietors who are eager to partner with the Government to render educational services instead of scaring them away.
- Provide them with loans and grants to help improve on their infrastructures
- Make establishment/ approval procedures flexible for everyone who is interested in school business to be able to go through.
- They should be effective monitoring of private schools.
- Organize seminars and workshops for the private schools
- Create synergy between the private and government schools
- Organize competitions for the schools from time to time for effective evaluation of performance.
- Make provisions for the private sector in the government annual budget.
MINISTRY OF EDUCATION REQUIREMENT FOR BOTH PUBLIC & PRIVATE PRIMARY SCHOOL ESTABLISHMENT APPROVAL IN NIGERIA
Below are the basic requirements by the Ministry of Education for Private school approval, thus:
- The school must be built in its permanent site of not less than four  Plots of land
- The property must be surveyed with the school name
- Must have at least six  standard classroom blocks with administrative blocks
- Must have some recreational facilities like the football field, basketball, Mary-go-round, etc.
- Must have a perimeter fence for security reasons
- Must have a functional laboratory depending on the school you intend to open.
- The school administrator must be an education-certified person.
- Must engage a minimum of six qualified teachers for the primary school establishment and the administrative staff.
- Must start off from primary one or basic one  – basic five  for the first academic year.
Visit: Federal Ministry Of Education
TYPES OF PRIMARY SCHOOL ESTABLISHMENT APPROVAL STAGES IN THE NIGERIAN EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM
Basically, there are two  types of primary school government approval stages. They are:
- Establishment approval: Comes before you take off
- Accreditation: This is given after your one year of operation basically for your Basic six external examinations.
HOW TO GET YOUR ESTABLISHMENT APPROVAL
- Ensure you fulfill the above-stated conditions before going to the ministry of education for approval.
- Pick and pay for your establishment application form. The amount you pay varies and not much.
- Fill the form and submit it back to the ministry for further action.
- Pay up for your renewal fee for the year
- Submit the necessary documents especially your survey plan which must have been surveyed with the name of the school.
- Pick a date with the inspectorate for the necessary site inspections.
Establishment approval will be given after the team is satisfied with their inspections which might be more than a single visit to ensure that you affected the necessary corrections and recommendations made by the team concerning your readiness to take-off.
Follow up on your file to avoid delays.
With the above steps carefully taken, you are good to go with your Primary School Establishment Approval by the State Government, and your school can be rated and listed among the approved schools in Nigeria.
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