News / Africa

Nigerian State Cracks Down on Unregulated Private Schools

An examination hall at one of several colleges closed in Kano for lacking sufficient resources. (VOA/ I.Ahmed)
An examination hall at one of several colleges closed in Kano for lacking sufficient resources. (VOA/ I.Ahmed)
Isiyaku Ahmed

In the northern Nigerian town of Kano, over 80 private nurseries, primary and secondary schools have been shut down and another 52 have been suspended for violating Kano State’s education law.
 
Meanwhile, a special task force on private schools there aims to close down another 700 institutions that are not meeting legal requirements.

Kano State’s 10-year-old Education Law says all schools must meet certain requirements. They must offer a conducive learning and teaching environment, pay appropriate taxes to government, provide a well-stocked laboratory, maintain functional administrative and academic records, and have a provisional certificate of approval to operate.
 
Baba Abubakar Umar, the Chairman of the Kano State Task Force on Private Schools, said, "the situation is quite pathetic; so many schools are operating without government consent, by extension without any kind of formal approval from the ministry of education. That is why the government intervened by establishing the task force to sanitize the entire private education sector."

The library at Prime College in Kano, Nigeria. (VOA/I. Ahmed)The library at Prime College in Kano, Nigeria. (VOA/I. Ahmed)
x
The library at Prime College in Kano, Nigeria. (VOA/I. Ahmed)
The library at Prime College in Kano, Nigeria. (VOA/I. Ahmed)
He said part of the mandate of his office is to enforce a national curriculum for education, ensure the operation of laboratories with qualified teachers, and determine the location of the schools.
 
Some private schools are located near sites that negatively affect pupil behavior – like under high tension cables, or near market places.
 
There are over 4,000 nurseries, primary and secondary schools in Kano.  He said that less than a thousand of them are registered – as required -- with the education ministry.
 
"So many schools have opened without government approval," said Umar. "We have actually embarked on serious scrutiny with a view to detect schools that are [what we call] “mushrooms” – [schools that are] not viable, not standard -- and flush them out to ensure and bring sanity and improve the standard of education in Kano state."
 
He said proprietors or schools that do not comply with government regulations governing the establishment and operation of private schools will be closed.
 
"Technically we have closed almost 80 schools," said Umar. "We categorized these schools into class [from “excellent” to very poor] or, A, B, C, D, and E.   For those that have standard facilities, we encourage them to continue, and for those who have less standard facilities, we also encourage them to improve their facilities.  But for schools that are mushrooms, that are operating in garages, and makeshift places or obviously we will flush them out."
 
He said government want to ensure that pupils are well taught, teachers are well paid and facilities are excellent for learning and teaching.
 
Hajia Tabawa Abdusalam, the owner of Badar Primary and Secondary School, and the chairperson of the National Association of Proprietors’ of Private Schools in Kano, said, "We are running private schools in Kano state, but some of us are not following the guidelines and the rules for operating a private school," she says. These standards have to do with the teaching and learning environment, qualification of the teachers, and the proprietor must have the quality to administer a private school."

A computer lab at PrIme College in Kano, Nigeria. (VOA / I. Ahmed)A computer lab at PrIme College in Kano, Nigeria. (VOA / I. Ahmed)
x
A computer lab at PrIme College in Kano, Nigeria. (VOA / I. Ahmed)
A computer lab at PrIme College in Kano, Nigeria. (VOA / I. Ahmed)
She said her association supports the government’s effort to improve the educational system.
 
Abdusalam said some schools that were closed by the task force have resumed operation. Their owners had to meet deadlines for improvements, like installing toilets, and providing clean drinking water, classroom furniture, and equipment for a well-equipped laboratory.
 
Wakili Shehu Abubakar,  the secretary of the Kano State Chapter of the National Parent Teachers Association, said, "Recently, the task force closed two or three schools on condition of increasing school fees without contacting the parent-teachers association of the private schools."

He said the guidelines for increasing fees recommend convening a PTA general meeting with representatives of the private institutions department and ministry of education. Two thirds of those in attendance must approve the proposal before it’s adopted and implemented.

Improving education is part of the agenda of Kano State Governor Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso. (VOA/ I. Ahmed)Improving education is part of the agenda of Kano State Governor Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso. (VOA/ I. Ahmed)
x
Improving education is part of the agenda of Kano State Governor Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso. (VOA/ I. Ahmed)
Improving education is part of the agenda of Kano State Governor Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso. (VOA/ I. Ahmed)
Abubakar said before the creation of the task force, owners increased fees almost every term, making it difficult for parents to send their children to private school.
 
Education experts say the new efforts to monitor and regulate private schools should help to ensure that all children have access to education, develop as individuals, and improve their social and economic well-being.  It should also help reduce poverty levels and enhance development.
 
Over 60% of individuals in Kano state live below poverty line.  As a result, most people have limited access to quality education.
 
The government provides basic, primary, secondary and tertiary education, though others, including private investors, are encouraged to get involved.  However, the same rules meant to ensure quality apply to every group involved in running the schools in Kano State.

Listen to report on educational reform in Kano, Nigeria
Listen to report on educational reform in Kano, Nigeriai
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees More

At Boston Bombing Hearing, Sides Spar Over Boat

At final pre-trial hearing, lawyers for suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, prosecutors disagree on whether vessel where he hid from police can be shown to jurors More

Iran Judiciary 'Picks' Lawyer for Detained WP Reporter

Masoud Shafii has been attempting to secure official recognition as Rezaian’s attorney, but is not allowed to see his client in prison More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More