Experts have argued that one reason why our educational sector is in ruin is simply because we allow govt to handle this critical sector.
The Nigerian government(s) have consistently proven itself to be grossly incompetent in managing public basic and tertiary schools, yet it has refused to give up this responsibility in a manner that is consistent with the tenets of federalism.
In several communities in Nigeria, we have govt funded basic schools; well paid staff, fair or poor infrastructures and yet the standard of education is pitiable! Even the poor private players are doing better. Government cannot continue to act as both a regulator and the regulated. It should hand over public basic schools to communities and independent managers. Communities should be allowed to run the basic schools in their domain, communities should be allowed to hire and fire their staff, maintain infrastructures, raise funds, etc. The government should only set the standards and enforce compliance, and maybe provide infrastructural support when necessary. Where it is necessary, the govt can give out grants, scholarships, etc to intelligent but indigent students. The day-to-day running of such schools should be removed from the hands of government.
Federal and state governments have no business managing public basic schools. These schools should be handed over to communities and independent managers. This is the best way to introduce efficiency in our schools and drastically reduce high govt recurrent expenditure on the part of the government.
Communities/towns/cities must be actively involved in the business of government. They must be allowed to have fiscal responsibilities, plan their own budgets, raise their own funds and run their own economy. This is the foundation of true federalism.
A comprehensive policy document will be unveiled soon to explain how the basic and tertiary institutions in Nigeria can be run independent of government interference and intervention.