Incompetent private school owners, teachers lowering educational standard — Nkwoji


Mrs. Franca Nkwoji, is the Founder/Chief Executive Officer of Frandach Consulting Limited, a professional and reliable school consulting firm. In this interview with Sunday Vanguard, she speaks on the nation’s educational system, child’s upbringing and other issues.
Excerpts

How did you get into  the school consulting business? Was it your specialty or you just stumbled into it?

I did not stumble into what I am doing right now. On the contrary, I believe I was created to impart knowledge and I am very proud to call myself a teacher at any given opportunity. I am an educationist to the core; I have a Bachelor and a Master’s degree in Education, I have worked in various schools for some good number of years as a school counsellor and rose to the position of a Vice Principal and then Acting Head of school in some notable schools in Lagos State that are using the English National Curriculum (ENC), commonly referred to as the British system in Nigeria.


The quest to contribute to the growth of our educational system was what inspired me to register Frandach Consulting Limited, so that I can contribute to the development of many schools as possible.
I am looking forward to the day the government will recognize what we are doing and want to us partner to take the educational sector to the next level.

What are some of the programmes that you are holding to achieve your goals and what do participants stand to gain?

We hold some major events or workshop each year for all school staff to educate 21st Century school Influencers with the intention of boosting their overall management performance and achieve UBE goals for learners. We bring to bear the fact that counselling in schools is not given the desired attention. Every school staff is an influencer in the life of the learner, therefore they must know how to handle these learners and assist them in achieving their goals which is the primary reason they are in school.

Again, due to the widely held speculation that girls are more attracted to their fathers than their mothers, we started organising Dads and Daughters Evening programme since 2006 to improve on the relationship between fathers and their daughters because we discovered that daddies are rarely aware of the needs of the teenage girls. This will most likely enhance the decision of the girl when in serious situation, rather than taking a clue from the society.

The essence of this programme is also to help the deteriorating relationship between the daddy and the girl child going through a turbulent time in her life who thinks that nobody cares about her. Then, we will also be holding an Anti-bullying Week Campaign in Lagos, before the runs out, considering the fact that a lot of people think bullying is part of growing up.

Many school children are being affected by it in one way or the other and because this does not make headline news in this country, it is really not considered a problem. From our previous campaigns, I make bold to say that it is a social menace that the government should be interested in tackling, especially in the public schools where it is more rampant. We will also hold Careers Day with schools in Lagos by November 27th.

This programme is to help children with the choice of career for their future. It is especially designed to help school counsellors or designated school staff know what and how to help students choose their careers The problem(s) with our educational system and possible solution(s)

The problems with our educational system are numerous. The increasing rate of private schools springing up from every corner of the streets by incompetent proprietors/proprietresses who see opening of school as last resort to escpaing the clutches of poverty have contributed to the downward trend in our educational system. Poor funding of the educational sector by the government is also a major problem that we need to address and lack of proper educational regulatory body to checkmate proliferation of private schools by unqualied owners in the sector.

The government should put a law in place to guide issuance of licenses to private individuals that want to start a schools and all the requirements should be met before the licenses can be given out. Our government should give priority to the educational sector by putting vibrant and qualified people that have actively contributed to the development of the sector.

How do we address the problem of the girl-child education in Nigeria

There is a popular saying that if you educate a woman then the entire nation is educated. This is very true because the woman can multitask in every situation. A woman that is educated wants to get a job and help out in the family and also contribute her expertise to her country. A woman that is ‘truly’ educated wants to serve against all odds. The saying that “what a man can do a woman can do better” may not have been coined by a woman. An educated woman can juggle the home front and her career at the same time without her having too much pressure.

I once read of a scientific research that says the women uses the two sides of her brain i.e the right and the left hemisphere, which is why when they are faced with a tough situation they think faster and come up with a possible solution.

The role of women in child’s upbringing

The role of women in a child’s upbringing is very important to the entire growth of the child. i.e spiritually, morally, intellectually, socially and emotionally. Apart from the woman carrying the child in her womb for nine (9) months, she believes that the responsibility of bringing up the child in an acceptable way falls on her shoulder. Our society blames a badly turned out child on the woman while the man takes all the credit for a well turned out child.

Although a lot of career women are neglecting their home-fronts which is their primary assignment as mothers, they are not supposed to allow the school, social media and the society to take charge of the upbringing of their children.

Your challenges
Our challenges have been in the area of trying to get the government and other coporate organizations to align with our vision for the sector and contribute to raise our standard of education. We have approached some organisations in the past to share how vision but their response was that ‘education’ is not among the list of sponsorship that they want to partner with preferring entertainment or sport.