16th July, 2012
Stakeholders in Lagos State have canvassed the active involvement of Public-Private Partnership, PPP, in the development of primary education in the state.
This was the resolution reached at a one-day 2012 education summit with the theme: “Public-Private Partnership participation in primary education” held in Ojo, Lagos, at the weekend.
At the event, Commissioner for Rural Development, Cornelius Ojelabi, lamented that the management of primary education in the past had been characterised by acute shortage of infrastructure, non-payment of teachers’ salary, security problem, inadequate classrooms and furniture, among others.
“Primary education is a foundation level of education that should be adequately funded, controlled, managed and arguably the most important level of education,” he said.
Ojelabi said PPP’s participation in primary education include speedy, efficient and cost effective delivery of projects value for the taxpayers through optimal risk transfer and risk management; efficiencies from integrating design and construction of public infrastructure with financing, operation and maintenance, among others.
He mentioned various PPP organisations that could support the development of primary education to include Foundation-based PPPs; Faith-based PPPs, adopt-a-school programme, school infrastructure and so on.
“It is my opinion that we should commence the process of exploring the opportunities inherent in my suggestions above with a view to proffering solutions to the myriads of challenges in our education management,” he stated.
Former Deputy Governor, Princess Sarah Sosan, said there was no way government alone could tackle the problems in primary education and that the PPP’s participation was urgently needed in this regard.
“Education is the best legacy to bequeath on our children; it is the weapon and tool we need to develop; we have to join hands to make education work. While we were in office, we adopted the PPP initiative.
“We allow them to do what they want to do in our schools while we gave them our specification,” she said. She charged traders at Alaba Market to contribute meaningfully to the development of primary education in Ojo.
Dr. Danoye Laguda of the Lagos State University, LASU, wants the PPP participation in primary education but suggested that tax rebate should be given to private bodies that contribute meaningfully to the development of primary education.
Earlier, Education Secretary, Ojo Local Government, Mr. Tolani Sule painted horrific pictures of schools in the council, saying that the decay was so great that the support of PPP participation was urgently need.