A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF MANAGEMENT PRACTICES PRIVATE AND PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN NIGERIA

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A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF MANAGEMENT PRACTICES PRIVATE AND PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN NIGERIA

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study

Learning has been so much associated with the school that some people almost think that learning goes on only in schools. This view of learning has been greatly reinforced by such reference to schools as institutions of learning and to Universities, Polytechnics and College of Education as institutions of higher learning (Okoye, 1987). There is no doubting the fact that much learning goes on in school. The school is particularly and specifically arranged so as to facilitate effective learning. Unfortunately the poor condition of our schools, particularly the primary schools today in the nation raises a lot of anxiety. A cursory look at these school in spite of government efforts reveals schools dominated by dilapidated buildings, school void of good furniture and equipment, schools where instructional materials are either not provided or are inadequate; school that are under-staffed; schools, where teachers salaries and allowances are not promptly paid, schools that have not been inspected for the last 15 years; schools where there are no discipline among other things.

The government, and especially the parents are very much concerned with the quality and volume of learning acquired by their children, wards and citizens as this is related to the quality and quantity of the contribution which the individual can make to his immediate family, community and the nation as a whole. (Thorndike, 1931).

Several studies by Sociologist, Psychologists and Educationists showed that the type of schools a learner attends has profound influence on his academic achievement. For instance, Bibby and Peil (1974) noted that children who attended private primary schools performed better than pupils in public schools. This view is also supported by Lioyd (1966) as he contended further that the public schools which saw education as good thing, tended to leave the question of educational success or failure in the hands of the public and their parents. This implies that the business of education is not taken with all the seriousness it demands in the public schools. This of course is what may be regarded as the general apathy of the citizenry to government’s owned business or property. A situation that has resulted in lackadaisical attitude of government’s workers, including teachers in the public schools tend to believe that an intelligent child would succeed automatically at school without any active assistance coming from them.

In a study jointly carried out by the Federal Government of Nigeria, UNICEF and UNESCO in 1977 to monitor the learning achievement of primary school pupils throughout the Federation, it was shown that most of the private schools had means in the three areas tested higher than the national means and that of their public counterpart. Similarly, Yoloye (1998) while assessing the situation of education in Osun State, compared the quality of education in five states of the federation namely, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo. He compared performance between urban and rural schools; private and public schools, as well as between male and female primary school pupils. He concluded that while Osun State comes last in almost all the sub-sector analyzed, the only cheering exception is in the private schools where it performed better than other states and indeed exceeded the grand mean. He did not give reasons for low or high achievement.

Fafunwa (1981) however, observed that access to qualitative instruction, thorough supervision in schools, relevant instructional materials, standard school buildings, less-crowded classrooms, conducive school environment are some of the major school variables influencing pupils, academic attainment. He concluded that in areas where private schools are well established, drop-out rates would be drastically reduced and pupils academic performance enhanced. This he said may be due to availability of resources and more importantly to the fact that teachers are positively motivated.

In a study carried out in the U.S. by Lubienski and Lubienski (2006), they compared academic achievement among charter, private and public schools. One of the major findings from this study showed that private schools scored higher than charter and public schools. In a related study carried out also in the U.S. by Braun, Jenkins and Grigg (2006), they compared the performance of pupils in private and public schools in both reading and mathematics involving grades 4 and 8, results showed that the private schools performed better than the public schools not only in reading and mathematics, but also in the two grades (4th & 8th) involved in the study. Overall, findings indicated that the average private school mean score was higher than the average public school mean score, and that the difference was statistically significant.

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A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF MANAGEMENT PRACTICES PRIVATE AND PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN NIGERIA