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The Private Schools Scam in Nigeria

By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima
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The systemic collapse of Nigerian education is no longer news, but from being bad, it is now becoming worse with the recurrent rampant cases of examination malpractices reported at all levels.

The prevailing culture of impunity of the corrupt ruling class is now exhibited by majority of Nigerian children in secondary and tertiary institutions with mass failures recorded in the prerequisite examinations. The most shocking were the last results of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) of 2012. Only 3 candidates of the total 1, 503, 931 who sat for the UTME scored 300 and above! So, the remaining 1, 503, 928 scored less than 300!

The question is why did the students from the so called elitist private schools where prohibitive fees are paid fail to score up to 300?

What happened to their so called world class standards and first class tutors?

Why did they fail to excel and prove that they are better than the public schools?

So, why should these private schools be charging hundred of thousands to even one million naira as annual school fees when they cannot guarantee the success of their students?

Why should parents spend a million naira on the secondary school fees of their child and the child fails to pass the ordinary matriculation examinations in Nigeria?

Therefore they have been ripped off by these private schools. What an open scam?

The fact is these private schools have failed woefully to produce brilliant students and scholars, because majority of their teachers are not certified and qualified to teach!

Instead of producing brilliant whiz kids of scholarship, these dubious private schools are producing whiz kids of hip hop and pornography.

Nigerian students sit for an exam.

These private schools cannot afford world class teachers who are not even available in Nigeria, because the local colleges of education have also collapsed and cannot produce good teachers for Nigerian pupils and students. Majority of the students in the colleges of education were those who failed to gain admission into the polytechnics and universities and their last resort was to go the colleges of education. Moreover, most of them cheated to pass their secondary school certificate examinations before they could gain admission into the colleges of education. Now these students driven by desperation and frustration into the colleges of education would later graduate and get employed by majority of the private schools to teach innocent children of ignorant parents who are hoodwinked and swindled by the proprietors of the private schools to pay exorbitant school fees for what they think is world class secondary school education by operators of private schools who have lied and tricked them by fishing in the troubled waters of the systemic collapse of modern education in Nigeria.

Female hostel on the campus of a Nigerian tertiary school could be mistaken for a refugee camp.

What is going on in private schools in Nigeria is a racket! It another 419 scam by another lunatic fringe of criminally minded Nigerians exploring various get-rich-quick scams to rob the ignorant masses who are always on the receiving end of every corrupt and incompetent administration in Nigeria.

Investigations have shown that majority of the owners of these private schools are the same criminals in the corridors of power and their accomplices in the private sector who have been scamming the Nigerian government and private sector for years and after misappropriating public funds and looting the treasury, they have used their stolen funds to establish private schools and other private ventures to further cheat and exploit the ignorant masses in Nigeria.

They have embezzled the revenue allocations for the ministry of education and deprived the schools of funding for infrastructure and scholarship and as they have caused the collapse of the public schools, they now set up their own private schools to fish in the troubled waters of the victims of their corruption. And in most cases, they don't even invest in the colleges of education where the majority of their teachers will come from!

The fundamental issues of the private schools scam in Nigeria have already been addressed in my book In the House of Dogs and The Guardian newspaper of Nigeria published a very important extract on January 1, 2012, and the issue of the rot in Nigerian education was clearly noted. Therefore, there is no further hue and cry over this well known national disgrace of education in our contemporary policy, but to address it legally and prosecute these criminals who are masquerading as educationists and stakeholders in the development of modern education in Nigeria.

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."