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Author Name: Remi-Niyi Alaran
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1.Culture Try to find a cultural society for the area that you are considering relocation to. Regular... (1) Comment

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Open Letter to Minister of Education, Nigeria - part 2
Author: Remi-Niyi Alaran | November 24, 2006

SECTION 2: PRO-ACTIVE EDUCATION A solution lies in enabling local ownership and management of schools. in a manner that facilitates the ever-changing population of teachers, and students at a school to INVEST in ever-improving the productivity of the school and its local community. My recommendations here are to government officials or parents who feel responsible and accountable for the qualitative education of the children. 1) Identify school districts within the local government areas. Each school withn a district should then be SOLELY financed by its own District Private Education [DPE] fund. Any government payments, school fees, grants, endowments, facility usage fees, or other income goes into the school DPE. Any school repair charges, capital expenditure, or other disbursements come out of the school DPE. Government or private school entrepreneurs shouls appraise the value of land and buildings on which the school is situated, and transfer these assets into the DPE in return for a non-controlling share of capital investment. A school should be wholly or principally owned by its DPE. 2) Parents in each district elect an District Education Officer and two assistant DEOs for 1 term only of 3 years. The 3 education officers must live and work within the district. They have 1 equal vote in all district education affairs. Their role is to communicate education curricula or government actions to parents, DPE managers, and school administrators, and to inform parents of sub-optimal curricula or under-performing district schools. 3) The district [local community] ANNUALLY appoints one parent, whose children are in the school, to administer [RECORD and REPORT] disbursements of only one DPE. This way, the school is managed in the interest of parents. The manager can only ever serve a maximum of two 1 year terms. 4) The school operations are managed by the teachers. They prepare an annual budget for operating and capital disbursements. The budget is submitted to the DPE manager and the district. 5) The school charges fees at a level that COVERS its expected annual budget. Any increases in fees is strictly INDEXED to the expected increases in average annual income in the district. Note the index is not to national inflation. In reality, indexing to local incomes will result in charging fees that local residents can afford. Also, a good performing school will cause increases in local house prices, and attract parents who can afford higher fees. A virtous cycle is established. The DPE can benefit by owning land near the school, contracting parents to build homes or leisure facilities, and earn rental income beyond the charging of fees. 6 ) The district issues 'Education Credits' to STUDENTS whose parents are interested in any school within the district. This recognises that it is students who consume education and are the best judges of its 'experienced' quality. These credits give the student discounts on school fees for products or services that their parents provide for the school or for special skills (sport, arts, music, computing...) that the student can deploy on behalf of the school. The credit will, of course, be exercised by parents of young students. Adult students, ophans or other students with special needs are able to retain their independence of funding education. Education Credits are cummulative: students can add more credits to their existing balance. The credits are also non-transferrable outside the nuclear family: parents cannot transfer or sell their credits to other parents. 7) Should there be a 'local catchment area' for schools? Over time, the locality of a good school may become populated by opportunistic residents. Opportunistic, here, refers to residents who do not send their children to the good school but are nonetheless attracted by superior facilties that high house prices make possible, due to proximity to the good school. These residents may crowd out interested parents if the school were to recruit students using an overly-local 'catchment area' criteria. In practice, the catchement area should be the district. Any student within the district can attend any school using Education Credits issued by the district. They can attend any school wherever they can afford the full school fees. 8) Parents who can afford to pay school fees, will pay. Parents who are interested in providing goods and services in order to qualify for Education Credits will register with the district. The district presents an annual schedule of Education Credits for different goods and services. then estimates a value, contracts for the provisioning, and monitors performance at the school of interest. Once the school management reports adequate performance, the district issues Education Credits to the estimated value. This arrangement means that parents interested in a good school but unable to afford the fees will perform contracts with the district for Education Credits BEFORE or WHILE their children attend ANY school in the district. 9) Students with special talents cannot be expected to perform contracts for the district before attending any of its schools. They and their parents still need a means of qualifying for Education Credits. On the other hand, having talented and inspired students is a large component of what makes a 'good' school. So each district has a strong incentive to attract and retain talented students to its schools. A solution is for the district to assign some Education Credits to each school for GRANT, on sole discretionary grounds, to qualified-as-talented students. To qualify, students need to DEMONSTRATE a talent of interest to DPE schools. There is a clear incentive for districts and parents to organise talent competitions e.g spors events, liberal arts fairs, after-school computer classes, math quizzes, and similar events. These events enable students to build a portfolio of demonstrable special ability with which to apply to DPE schools for DPE grants. These events contribute to a higher standard of living in the district and create locally sustainable business opportunities for parents. 10) One must acknowledge that, irrespective of the will of individual government officials, local interests may conflict across the the nation to prevent the above recommendations being implemented, with some adaptations, as official education policy. Indeed, such a "Pro-Active Education" system may seem deeply repugnant to cultures that commiserate in collective mediocrity. Dear Minister, it does cause despair that Nigeria's education or enterprise systems appear to celebrate cultural retardation. Still, some parents and school entrepreneurs may be interested in the opportunities indicated by pro-active education. You can start your district with one school, and add more schools with time. You will need help with maintaining records of your DPE people, schools, credits and grants. Yours sincerely, A concerned citizen This article also appeared at

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NGEX welcomes and encourages reader comments. Permission to post reader comments is assumed, and we reserve the right to excerpt or edit for clarity any comments that are posted. We won't be able to publish all comments. And we can't vouch for the accuracy of posts from readers. Nickname or Name will be used to identify your post.
Sachya    ,     May 29, 2012
I'm very deeply grieved. Nigeria is far too blessed a country for its people to resort to these humiliating alternatives to power. It's good to know that we're creative, but frankly, this attribute should be channeled to less mediocre projects. Everybody should get thinking --especially our electrical engineering grads and undergrads. Sometimes. . . I wonder what people are being taught in school
Omotayo, J. A.    Lagos, NIGERIA    December 03, 2006
Mr Omololu Olunloyo, former Governor of Oyo State, has recommended that Nigerians especially those in authority act at variance with those basic concepts of life in developed and developing countries of the world, and that they all should go for physchiatry tests.

I allign myself with this noble viewpoint. Mr President and his few "Honourable" Ministers who have been troubling this nation for the past seven years are less than 36. Distributed per state, it can be said that only one man has been troubling a State.

If they are that few, why not send all of them to receive treatment for all their maladies before allowing them to perform officer funtions? Will the nation not benefit more if we have normal and mentally stable individuals in positions of authority rather than having the otherwise?

How can we guarantee the future to all our teaming youths when their parents have been laid off from their various places of works, the houses that their parents struggled to build have either being demolished or marked for demolision, their vehicle and okada have been marked off the road, the collective wealth have all been sold to selfish individuals?

Where lies the future when some parents pay more than $5,000. 00 per term in choice private schools for their children and the available public schools that the children of the poor can attend at about N500.00 per term (less than 1% of that of the rich) is being slated for privatisation? Are we not in effect promoting what we seem to be avoiding: armed robbery, touting, etc?

Why can't education be free at all levels from primary to the university, with the government setting aside 25% of the nations budget as prescribed by the World Bank so that we can know whether the sons of the rich will still continue to replace their fathers as board members and directors of companies?

Nigerians must protest this future destrcution of eduation in Nigeria. Otherwise, we shall leave to regret our indifference of today.

God bless Nigeria.
OMOTAYO, J. A.    Lagos, NIGERIA    November 29, 2006
The views of Remi-Niyi Alaran are too elitist, and cannot work in Nigeria. Think of the various schools established by the various churches in Nigeria today, particularly Redeem Christian Church of God, Winners Charpel, etc.

How many of their members can afford the cost of sending their children to these schools? Only very few, the rich who have probably looted our treasury to gain prominence in church activities or the lucky ones who are able to secure very well paying jobs or have money spinning trades or industry.

The children of the common man is finished in this country, unless the new breed of quasi-technocrats are edged out of positions of authorities. We must not forget history.

During the Nigerian civil war, one of the best brains in the world's information technology, Mr Emeageli, was discovered in the bush where he had run for safety by the Red Cross. He was moved to the rescue camp, given education before being flown to America. Mr. Emeageli is today a professor and one of the brains behind internet.

If American government were to be as irresponsible as the Nigerian government, Mr Emeageli would probably have been a bus drive, spare parts dealer, a beer parlour owner, a bus conductor, a thief, an armed robber, etc.

People should be bold to tell this government that it is the most irresponsible civilian administration to have come to power. There is no denying the fact that the children of the poor are often the best brains in schools. Their predicaments have often being access to good qualitative education, books, teachers, learning aids, etc.

Unless efforts are made to allow the children of the poor access to the best facilities that are available for learning in this country, the best brains would have been edged out. Consequently, what we would be recirculating within the society will be speudo-technocrats and speudo-administrators.

I think that I need to find time to present to the public the high levels of professional incompetences of the so called "Experts" in Nigeria. The "Experts" that have been produced out of corruption, professors who "cannot confess talkless of profess".

When next an expert in Nigeria tell you anything, think twice before accepting. Deceipt could be lurking somewhere.

God bless Nigeria
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