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

Analyst: Joint-Arab Military Force Poses Perilous Challenge

Although international forces are desperately needed to counter the threat of the Islamic State group, analysts say conflicting alliances could escalate fighting More

Asia’s Middle Class Changes Demand for Wheat Grain Exporters

Changes in tastes and diets are boon for wheat exporters such as Australia and the United States More

S. African Comedian Taking Over Popular TV Show

Mixed-race comedian Trevor Noah, who is loved for his edgy jibes about race and language, is taking the helm from Jon Stewart at The Daily Show in US 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.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

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