Want to Own a Primary or Secondary School in Nigeria? Follow These Ten Steps.

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The educational sector is one of the sectors that is yet to be fully developed in Nigeria. Due to the falling standard in the quality of many government owned schools, many parents have resorted to sending their children and wards to private schools.

As more children are being born every day, so does the need for the establishment of more schools increase, else the capacity of the existing schools will be stretched to limit. Apart from the provision of food, shelter, and clothing, education of our children is a vital need that every parent does not take for granted. This is because, the education of our children is considered as one of the best legacies that parents can give to their children so as to have a good future for the children and also to secure a good future for the parents when they get old.

Therefore, thinking about setting up a primary or secondary school or both is a good business idea with a lifetime prospect of returns. Although, executing this business idea is not too easy due to the amount of start-up capital involved, but if you can surmount the huddles, it would be worth the effort. You can begin with a crèche or a nursery & primary school and then expand to secondary school subsequently.

This article is hereby written to guide you on how to build private schools with the right standard according to the recommendation of the Ministry of Education which will build the future of our children.

1.  Define your mission for starting the school.

When purpose is not known or defined, abuse is inevitable. Owning a primary or secondary school is a good business which can yield good revenue if when managed, but your motive and mission of establishing this school should not be limited to just making money. The passion for the education of children should be your main driving force, else you will not seek for excellence and standard in establishing the school.  Are you comfortable with the standard of education in your country or state? What new thing do you which to introduce to enhance learning and education of children? What gap in the educational sector do you intend to bridge? Define your mission.

2. Find out your state government’s requirement for establishment of schools.

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Many persons don’t do this. However, this is very important. At the Ministry of Education for your state, you will find the minimum requirements for establishing a primary or secondary school in terms of the land mass required, classrooms, equipment, facilities, number and quality of staff etc.  When you start without getting these requirements in place, getting the required accreditation might be difficult because you may have already deviated from the required standard.

3. Get a piece of land at a good location.

Getting a good piece of land at a suitable location is usually one of the key steps to take in owning a primary or secondary school. It is always better to buy your own land instead of renting, because it is cheaper in the long run and it gives your school more stability, instead of moving the school from place to place when the owner of the land you are renting want to use the land for another purpose. In most cases, a minimum of a plot of land is needed to establish a school. You will need more than a plot of land if you intend to build hostel facilities. In your search for a suitable location for your school, look for a piece of land close and accessible to people. As you know, most parents will not be willing to send their children and wards to your school if it is situated at a place that is too remote and far.

4. Build a good structure on the land.

Follow the Ministry of Education’s recommendation while building your structure. Pay attention to the size of class rooms. It should be large enough and well ventilated. Incorporate toilet facilities, play and assembly ground, staff rooms, computer laboratory, clinic, science laboratory and offices and even a security office in your building plan. You can visit a standard school around your locality when you want to build so as to adopt their structural designs in your building plan. A good source of water supply for your school should also be taken into consideration. Water supply from a bore hole may suffice.

5. Get the necessary equipment for your school.

After the building is ready, it is now time to equip your school with the necessary facilities. Get comfortable chairs and tables for the classrooms, white boards and markers, ceiling fans or air conditioners, teaching aids, playground facilities like Mary – go round etc, textbooks and workbooks. You can also make provision for a school bus for conveying the pupils and students. This is not a mandatory start up requirement but you should work towards having a school bus as you progress.

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Also get a competent designer to design the school logo and a good tailor that would also design the school uniforms. A good tailor should be making the school uniforms for your school and ensure that parents buy the uniforms from your school instead of sewing it themselves, so as to ensure uniformity in the design and material.

6. Recruit competent personnel.

Academic and non-academic staff should be recruited when you are about opening the doors of your school to the public. You can do this, say three months before the official opening of the school. It is recommended that you open your school for academic purposes at the start of a fresh session, usually around September period. As the owner of the school you are the proprietor. Therefore, the first staff to recruit should be the headmaster/headmistress for primary school or principal for secondary school. Then, together with the headmaster/headmistress and principal, you can then interview for and hire other teachers and workers. Don’t forget to hire other non-academic staff like an accountant, cleaners, nannies, security personnel and medical personnel.

When recruiting your staff, seek for experienced personnel and it is better to hire teachers with qualification in education. This process is very important and special attention should be given to this, because it goes a long way to determine the quality of your school.

7. Register the school name with the corporate affairs commission.

Just as it applicable to other businesses, registering a business name is a vital step, as it gives you exclusive access to use the school name in whatever capacity you wish to, including opening official bank account(s) for the school and also in registering the school with the Ministry of Education. Choose a name that is unique and easy to mention.

8. Register your school with the Ministry of Education.

This step should not be much of a problem if you did step 2 above, because you would have built your school according to the recommended standard and you would have followed other recommendations of the Ministry of Education. When you register your school with the Ministry of Education and get their necessary approvals to commence after several inspections on your facility, you will be given the license to conduct West Africa School Certificate Examination, WASCE, Senior School Certificate Examination by the National Examination Council, NECO and the Common Entrance Examination.

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9.  Publicize your school.

You need to let parents know about your school. There are several ways you can do this depending on the amount of funds at your disposal. You can advertise via the radio and television. You can print flyers and distribute in churches and other places of worship, and in other public places like banks. You can also publicize your school using word of mouth to parents and guardians.

10. Join relevant school associations

This may not be done immediately during startup, but plan to join necessary associations and bodies. This will help to keep you updated with the latest trends in the educational sector in your region or state and it will also help you to network and share knowledge and experience with other proprietors for the benefit of the growth and progress your school.

These are the 10 steps to take if you want to establish your own primary or secondary school. We will keep updating this information. Keep checking for new updates.

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