Are you planning of owning a private school? If yes read the step-by-step guide on how to register and own a private school in Nigeria – A Do-it-Yourself Guide.
When it comes to national development, certain sectors are a lot more sensitive than others, and Education is one of such sensitive sectors.
It may all sound like a cliché, but Education is important to the shaping of a nation’s future, influences international perception of the nation and guides the direction of the country in subsequent generations.
In the light of this, the importance of ensuring that the nation’s children and youths benefit from quality education cannot be over-emphasized.
Unfortunately however, there are more children and youths in need of quality education than what the government of the day can sufficiently provide for.
With permission to make a Biblical allusion, “the harvest is rich, but the labourers are few.” Public schools are poorly funded and poorly equipped, and as a result, the standard of education received by products of government-owned schools is called into question every now and then.
At primary, secondary and tertiary levels, it’s the same old, sad song of inadequate funding of schools, and ultimately, inadequate impartation of knowledge. This is where private schools come in, to ameliorate the ugly situation.
Over the decades, private schools have popped up in various parts of the country, and at different levels too. While some have proven to be little more than mushroom centres of learning, others have stood out as bastions of excellence.
The issues of cost, affordability, ostentation and ‘snob appeal’ will always be up for debate (yes, there are those who feel that parents send their children to private schools as a display of affluence), but this takes nothing away from the fact that private schools have helped to provide a viable alternative to meeting the challenge of imparting quality education to an increasingly demanding young population.
Owning a private school in Nigeria is no mean feat, as can be gathered from interactions with successful proprietors of such schools.
It takes time, dedication, resources, and more importantly, determination. An individual intending to run a private school in Nigeria will be faced with a number of requirements and/or challenges. These include:
- Finding a Niche: it is important for an intending proprietor to dig deep and discover his educational niche. This is what separates good schools from mushroom halls. A proprietor has to determine whether he intends to administer kindergarten, primary school or secondary school.
- Choice of Location: It is important to secure land in a good, accessible area. No parent would want to enrol a child in isolated area where human life is far and between. A minimum of one plot of 120 by 60 is needed to accommodate school buildings, playgrounds and other relevant infrastructure. In cases where the proprietor intends to erect a boarding facility, a much larger expanse of land, preferably three times the aforementioned size, will be required.
- Cost and Dimension of Structure: It is also important to assess the cost of building the intended infrastructure. The cost will definitely depend on the size and quality of the structures which the intending proprietor desires to construct. It is advisable to engage the services of an Engineer and an Architect in this regard. The importance of purchasing building materials of the best quality cannot be over-emphasized.
Dimension of the buildings should equally be put up for consideration. The classrooms should be spacious, and reasonable space should also be created between buildings. This is to ensure a marked difference from what obtains in public schools.
- Equipment: This has to do with the purchase, fixing and installation of chairs, tables, computers and (where required) television sets. The availability of such gadgets will attract parents to the school, and will make it easier for them to part with their children’s school fees without grumbling, the rates notwithstanding. Water is equally essential, and to this extent, it is expedient to erect a borehole. It is also advisable to purchase one or more large and decent school buses, for the purpose of conveying children to and from school.
- Financial and Legal Matters: It is important to secure the services of an accountant and a lawyer in this regard. The accountant needs to determine the budget and the start-up capital, while a lawyer is needed to take care of issues pertaining to incorporation, registration and tax.
- Hiring/Recruitment: Of course, an intending proprietor has to hire qualified teachers and other key staff, preferably six months before opening day.
- Publicity: It is absolutely necessary to advertise for students. Flyers, online promotions and media jingles would help.
- Associations/Trade Unions: It is helpful for the intending proprietor of a private school to join state or national private school associations that would provide credibility and recognition.
There you have it, essential steps to being a private school owner in Nigeria. Good Luck!
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