One very daunting challenge faced by prospective parents in sourcing for a school for their children at the formative (preschool and primary) years is getting a good school that can successfully transform the child from his current level of knowledge to a more advanced one.
Today in Nigeria, especially in Lagos, the search for a school for your child is as simple as abc, but what is however challenging is getting a good one. In Lagos for instance, you can find in almost every corners, streets and towns different kinds of schools, some beautifully built with amazing architectural structures, equipped with sophisticated facilities such as swimming pool, Montessori materials, playground facilities etc. Others are however not so beautifully built and not so adequately equipped with sophisticated facilities.
In choosing a school, many people make the mistake of believing that a good school is the one with swimming pool, Montessori materials, world-class playground, air-conditioned classrooms and school buses, ICT studio etc. While the availability of these facilities are important, it is necessary to note that a good school is not entirely a function of the availability of these facilities.
What defines a good school
When searching for a school for children, ensure that answers are provided to the following questions before you make up your mind to have your children in the school.
1. Who owns the school, was the owner of the school a trained teacher in early years education? Has the owner any experiences in education management and administration?
Why do you need to know this? A school managed by an inexperienced owner will definitely leave the teachers, the children and their parents frustrated because the school will be managed with borrowed ideas and forced implementations without an understanding of how the idea should be executed. This exactly explains why these categories of school owners repeatedly says “this is how they do it in Corona, Greensprings, Crange” etc. There is nothing unique in their operations. They rely heavily on what others have done or are currently doing without seeking a proper understanding of how they have done it.
2. What is the mission and vision statement of the school
An organization like an individual without a clear and unambiguous documentation of it’s mission and vision statement is already a failure. A serious-minded school should have it’s mission and vision statement conspicuously displayed where stakeholders of the school can have unrestricted access to it.
Why is this important? Your vision is the destination and your mission your compass. Armed with this in mind coupled with the fact that daily you see this mission and vision statement pasted on the wall, it puts you, the owner of the school in check so that you don’t derail. It constantly reminds you about how you felt when you planned starting the school.
Lastly, as a prospective parent, always ask to see the teacher that will eventually be your child’s teacher and remember to him/ to state the mission and vision statement of the school. The response you get will tell alot about the school.
Eyu Ojungha writes from Odukpani, Cross River State
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