The primary education sector in Nigeria is still largely neglected, despite the government’s effort to improve the primary education system, the standard remains deteriorated in standard, quality, and infrastructure.
With the number of out-of-school children currently standing at 6.9million and 10.1million in 2019, the big question is; what is the fate of primary education in Nigeria?
The private sector strives to bridge the gap created by the government’s neglect in the education sector, but it became somewhat expensive to access quality education thus low-income earners find it difficult to have access to the kind of quality education that the private sector offers.
EDUCARENEWS crew beamed it searchlight on Morit International School, where parents who fall in the category of low-income earners, can still afford to send their children to school in what is a unique way of paying for the school fees of their wards.
In an intriguing chat with the director of the school, Patrick Mbamarah, he explained that Recycling Exchange simply means a system where parents of the students can bring PET BOTTLES, which the school sells to the recycling company (based on contract) and the proceeds made from the exchange is set aside for the children’s school fees and basic items needed in school.
To solve this problem, Morit International School, a private school in Ajegunle, collaborated with an NGO, the African CLEANUP Initiative, to allow parents who are unable to afford school fees for their kids to pay with plastic bottles through an educational solution called RecyclesPay Educational Product.
Alex Akhigbe, the executive director of ACI, said the intention is to give back to the community.
RecyclesPay is an initiative created to provide solutions to educational, environmental, and climate issues around the world, he explained.
Akhigbe added that NGO serves as a linkage between the school and the recyclers with a target of getting 10,000 children off the street next year
The compassionate school proprietor, spoke extensively about his drive for education in the slum, his vision, and his mission for the school going forward.
He said, “I ventured into education in the slum in order to reduce the number of out-of-school children in Lagos state, and the need to give the common kids quality education with the aim to reduce child labor and child trafficking.”
“My vision and hopes for the school are to have this model of school in every slum and ghetto in Nigeria, I hope to spread the love to other states as time goes on.”
On the issue of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects, the soft-spoken administrator noted that, unlike most schools that were affected by the lockdown, Morit International school saw a tremendous increase because the few middle class in Ajegunle enrolled their kids into the school.
“Unlike most other schools that the pandemic affected negatively, but on our part, it has helped us to expand the niche and tentacles of the school, few middle-class families in Ajegunle have joined the poor families as a result of the loss of jobs, poor sales and lack of funds”, he said
However, the school proprietor stated that though the school is helping the children get quality education it has put their facility under immense pressure.
Talking about the curriculum and the quality of education they offer their pupils, the ambitious young proprietor noted that they operate the British curriculum along with the Nigerian curriculum, he further explained that they set their curriculum on par with the elite schools in Lekki.
“Being an international school, British curriculum is what is used in teaching and informing our pupils, because we have used ours to test other international schools on the island, locally Moritz International school is a force to reckon with and it’s our hope to do more to groom the boy and girl child”, he said.
Speaking on challenges faced as a school that caters to kids in the slum, Mr. Patrick explained that the school needs investors who would key into the school’s dreams and invest seeing that the dream is too big for him alone to achieve. H also noted that the school needs a bigger space and adequate facilities.
“One of the challenges the school is facing is lack of investors, we need investors to pump money into this dream as we cannot do it alone, we need bigger space and adequate facilities”.
The amiable school owner also gave his opinion on how he thinks the government can help upgrade the failing education sector.
He said, “The government should partially privatize public schools and reintroduce history as a subject”
Mr. Patrick hopes that in the nearest future, his students will have equal opportunities in every facet of the economy and the country at large.
Morit International school was established with a vision to model the school in every nooks and cranny of ghetto cities in Nigeria, with the aim to ensure that education gets to the poorest of the poor in the society.
The school is located in the heart of Ajegunle, Lagos state, owned by a man with a huge passion for education, Mr. Patrick Mbamarah.
Morit School generated a lot of curiosity out simply because it runs for children in the slum that doesn’t have access to quality education and most importantly with the arrangement that allows parents to pay for fees through the process known as recycling exchange.