The role of the private sector in the development of the education sector in Nigeria was highlighted at the recent graduation ceremony of Champions International Schools
Nosa Igiebor, TELL’s editor-in-chief is one person who is never in doubt about the importance of the private sector in the development of the education sector in Nigeria. This much he stated last week at the seventh graduation ceremony lecture of Champions International Schools (CIS), Magboro, Ogun State.
Delivering a lecture, titled: Education: Is the Present Better than the Past? at the ceremony held for graduating pupils of the primary and secondary school sections of Champions International, Igiebor painted a vivid picture of the sorry state of the country’s educational system and proffered ways to revive it.
He says the importance of the private sector to the development of the education sector in Nigeria can be viewed from the fact that the country’s educational landscape is dotted with thousands of private educational institutions across the nursery, primary, secondary and tertiary school arms.
Champions International School, founded in 2005, is one of those. However, like Igiebor noted in his lecture, it is one of those private establishments that are blazing the trail of providing quality education for many children in the country. “Imagine what would have happened if we didn’t have Nigerians such as the Adekeyes who are willing to invest their time and resources into the educational sector,” said Igiebor who added that the standard of education in private schools across the country has been consistently high and improving while in the public sector, the reverse has been the case. This sad tale of public education in the country is one of the reasons why there was an acute shortage of graduates with marketable skills. “We have relegated skills and elevated paper certificate,” Igiebor explained. This, he said, needs to be urgently addressed if the country’s education system has to be revamped. While calling on the different tiers of government to increase the budget for education and take proactive steps towards effective measures of revamping it, Igiebor also questioned the imbalance of Nigeria being one of the most religious countries in the world, and at the same time one of the most corrupt.
Besides the lecture, awards and certificates were given to graduating students who were graduating from primary (Basic) six to Junior Secondary School, JSS 1 and from JSS to Senior Secondary, SS1. Adeniji Adebola won the Dan Agbese Prize for Best Student in SS2, while Ogunleke Abisola won the Ayodele Akinkuotu Prize for Best Yoruba Student in JSS 2. The Olusola Agbaje Prize for Best Behaved Student went to Biobaku Favour (primary school category) and Suleiman Abdullahi (secondary school category).
“In Champion Schools, we are convinced that our children can raise their heads high physically, mentally, socially and spiritually anywhere they may find themselves among their peers,” says Bose Adekeye, the school’s proprietress, during her address. Fola Adekeye, the school’s director of studies, expressed gratitude to staff, students, as well as the distinguished guests present at the ceremony. He also used the opportunity to present the Director of Studies Award for the Best Staff in both the primary and secondary school sections. Other distinguished guests at the ceremony include Lekan Otufodunrin, Sunday editor, The Nation newspaper, who was chairman of the occasion; and Kehinde Oso, zonal educational officer, Obafemi Owode Local Government area, Ogun State.