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Nigerian govt hints on privatising public schools, says a lot of them not doing well

The Nigerian government has said that a lot of public schools in the country were not doing well and there was need to concession some of them to those who had the capacity to adopt and close-manage them very well.

The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba stated this on Saturday during the maiden edition of Re-Ignite Public Affairs National Dialogue Series Webinar.

The minister noted that a public and private sector collaboration remained a way to move the education sector forward in the country.

At the event with the theme “Nigeria at 60, Education: Navigating a new Normal,” Nwajiuba added that the Education Ministry was already making efforts to ensure private sector players would be brought in to adopt public schools not doing well.

He said, “We are going to be changing to the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), curriculum and enhance it.

“Also, we are stepping up with private sector players because we have realised that we cannot do it alone. It is essential we bring everyone on board through public-private partnerships.

READ ALSO: Education commissioners in 19 northern states back FG’s decision suspending reopening of schools

“For instance, we have a lot of public schools that are not doing well; so, instead of building new schools, let us concession some of these public schools to those who have the capacity to adopt and close-manage them very well.

“These are the kinds of projects we want to do and I proposed this when I was the Chairman of TETFUND.”

Speaking on the suspension of reopening of schools, the minister said that the government’s priority remained to safeguard itself, learners and teachers in navigating the new normal.

“Most of the things we are working on are toward carrying learners forward in the new system during this pandemic,” he added.

The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Basic Education and Services, Julius Ihonvbere, speaking at the event said:

“COVID-19 has provided Nigeria with a good opportunity to develop its infrastructure.

“The pandemic has exposed the underbelly of the weaknesses of the society and the political class not just in Nigeria but all over the world, hence a good opportunity for us to rethink and reset.”

While he noted that it was not too late for Nigeria to do the needful, he said commitment, leadership and resources were required to address both the content and context of education.

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