“Everything remains at rest or in the same speed and direction of motion unless an unbalanced force (a force which is distant from the reference point) affects it” – Newton’s First Law of Motion also called Law of Inertia
In the wake of the ban by Federal Ministry of Education on the collection of development levies by the Parents Teachers Association, PTA, in the Unity Colleges1, 2, different arguments have been posited opposing the new directive. Despite my appreciation of their perception to this discuss, I believe it needs some work. I am speaking from the view of someone who attended one of these Unity Schools during the military era and potentially has a ward in this so-called democratic dispensation.
If public education service seems to work well during the authoritative military leadership then I will be blame the decline in infrastructure in unity schools leading to PTA takeover as the fault of passive citizenry. We are in a democratic era; this should be one of the metrics of judging the present government.
Abdicating the government from its role of maintaining a public school does not solve the issue for the Nigerian state.
The excuse of bringing the private sector to do the work of the government is always the same; the government does not have the capacity to do their work then what are they paid salaries for? NOTHING! Why will you in good conscience be comfortable allowing a portion of the commonwealth to be paid to people who cannot manage it?
Everything is privatized for efficiency even education then why do we bother to have a government?
When citizens are too lazy to hold the servants (government) they pay accountable then they shift the burden to themselves not realizing that citizens are NOT in the same economic strata. It is this difference in economic capacity that precipitates the need for government and public policies like the Unity Schools.
The Unity Schools are created for a purpose.
If there is a breakdown in infrastructure, speak out and blame the government, do not pass the buck on the parents. One solution is to advocate for policies from the legislative arm of the government that will ensure that public servants feel the pain of their ineptitude e.g. public servants above level 11 or those holding political offices should have their wards attending public schools.
There MUST be a breakthrough improvement in public service and this will never be achieved by always relying directly on the private citizens.
Let us take time to ponder on this subject. Is it NOT the same human resource in PTA that is in government? Why do we view government as an elusive object that cannot be accountable? Can you truly imagine the cost of maintaining a national PTA?
No matter the agenda, I support all the reasons giving by the Minister of Education.