Fred Itua, Abuja
The Director of FCT Universal Basic Education Board, Dr. Adamu Jatau Noma, has revealed that many private schools in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, operate in motor garages and sitting rooms.
In an interview with Daily Sun, the director also revealed how private schools cut corners to assist their students during external examinations, especially during West African Examination Council (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO) tests.
“There are private schools, in fact so many of them that are not supposed to be there,” the director said.
“Some operate under motor garages, some just in their sitting rooms and label themselves international, none is local.
“Most of them don’t have qualified teachers who have basic knowledge of educational practices. However, the difference between the public and private schools is the issue of monitoring. The degree of monitoring is not as intensive as it is in public schools. In case of government schools, there is no way we can have inspectors that will be seen in schools every day.
“Then, of course, in government schools you find out that when a teacher misbehaves, you take due process to bring that teacher to book; but in private schools, the proprietor can dismiss the person that day.
“In government schools you can’t do that, you have to follow due process. You have to issue the person a query, and if the person continues with the bad behavior, then you take it further for disciplinary action, and these things take time and they may linger for a while because that may not be the only case.”
Speaking on the high rate of examination malpractices in private schools in the territory, the director noted: “In FCT, we don’t tolerate examination malpractices at all. In all public schools, we don’t tolerate that. But, of course, you know that is not the case with private schools.
“In private schools, they go the extra mile to make sure that they get leakages a week or ten days to the exam where they now take them live to teach their students those things, so by the time they go for exams they already have gotten live questions. If it is mathematics, it is worked out in different ways so at the end of the day you see the students posting credits and distinctions,” the director revealed.