Public schools make education accessible to the children of low income earners known as “the common man”. Oyo State government recently advertised the privatization of public schools in the state thereby opening the door for private ownership by any organization willing to invest in the education sector.
My Take: This is an alarming and worrisome development in my opinion. What does this mean to the goal of ensuring that all children get an education? It seemed that government had been paying lip service about making education accessible to the grass root. If this privatization move succeeds definitely the cost of getting an education would go up and become in-affordable for the lower income earners families.
A few months back the state government made it a law that Primary and secondary school students were to now pay a certain amount for school fees in public schools. This met with resistance from parents and other members of society. Right now some children have been withdrawn from attending school because parents cannot not afford the so called merger amount. What happens now that the state government wants to pass down this public service duty to those investors who would only be interested in making money. After-all a business is intended to make profit for its owner.
I really wonder what our government is really willing to do for her citizenry. The least we can do is make education accessible for all so that whether a family is at the lower class level or middle class, their children can enjoy the benefits of getting an education.
Implication: Privatizing public schools is a tool for stealing education away from the grass root. Many children will not be able to get an education and become equipped with what they need to make something meaningful of their lives and would also not be able to contribute to the development of our society. And seriously we are digging a big ditch that would harm the future of our society. If these children drop out of school or families are no longer able to send their children to school then we are breeding a generation that would eventually become social menace to the society at large. They are the ones that would contribute to teenage pregnancy, child marriage, thuggery, crime, drug peddling and addictions in our communities.This is a disaster waiting to happen.
Solution: If it has become too burdensome for government to fund education perhaps it should simply return to the schools they took away from Mission institutions. Collaborate with willing organizations to support government in improving infrastructure and equip the schools with necessary learning tools(books, laboratories and more). However government should get its priority right…lets stop wasting money and invest our resources in building the future of our children. Check out our over bloated contracts the ends up not getting done and the money gets shared among the key players.
Time to think and plan better for the future of our society. Many of us attended Public schools and they were affordable for our parents back then. Many notable people in leadership today also benefited from these public schools in the past and their story is not complete without that benefit.
For all children to be educated government must be in the fore front of providing that education. If we kill everything what would be left for our children?
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Adebisi Adetunji (C)