How to Start and operate a world class Private Primary School in Yaba, Lagos

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By  – Tayo Orekoya

Primary education for children in Nigeria starts when the children are around 3 years old. Every student must spend six years in primary school and in the end, they must graduate in order to get a certificate for their education. Even though the so-called Universal Basic Education in Nigeria is free and compulsory, and there are many Federal and State Government schools, the fact is that more and more parents are interested in sending their kids to private primary schools. (1) This is quite natural because the best private schools of this kind allow high-quality education. So, if you are planning on starting a business in Nigeria, establishing and running a private primary school in yaba might be a great idea. But, how can someone start a project like this?

Before we go into details, let’s mention a few things about private primary schools in yaba. First of all, you should keep in mind that this is a challenging process that requires some time to be finished (about two years in most cases). Private primary schools in this African country usually have great academic standards, a solid teacher-student ratio, a wide range of subjects that cannot be found in public schools, better safety and more. There are private primary schools that are operated for profit and those who are working as non-profit entities. In both cases, your primary focus should be placed on providing better education.

  1. Select the grade levels for the school

As previously mentioned, the primary education in Nigeria lasts for six years, but there is an option for private schools to include less than six grade levels in their program. In addition, you must think about the number of grades. According to some statistics, most private primary schools begin with lower and fewer grade levels. After a while, they tend to increase their number and add upper-grade levels.

  1. Create your private primary school’s mission statement

It is obvious that this statement will be focused on emphasizing the mission, objective and philosophy for your school’s plans. This is a good way to get community support and set your school as a serious educational institution in the area. This mission statement must include the reasons why you have decided to start the school, the values your school supports, the approach used in the teaching process, the subjects that are part of the curriculum and the objectives of the school. It’s also a good idea to include the possibilities students will have once they finish primary school.

  1. Create a school committee

The individuals you choose for this committee will become members of the board of directors over time. That’s why it’s a smart move to include people who have experience, knowledge, and expertise in different areas like construction, business, education and law.

How to Start and operate a world class Private Primary School in Yaba, Lagos

  1. Research the legal aspects of this venture

The members of the committee can definitely help you with this task. In addition, you can hire a professional lawyer who has experience in this field. They must know the legal procedure required by the Ministry of Education and the regulations imposed by local authorities.

  1. Start the business entity

Non-profit or for-profit? This is the next decision you have to make. The majority of private primary schools in yaba are asking for tax-exempt statuses. The attorney that is part of your school’s committee should manage this activity.

  1. Create a business plan

Regardless of the type of private primary school in yaba, you are planning on opening, you will need a good business plan. It is highly recommended to make a business plan for the next five years. This plan must cover educational and operational aspects. So, things like curriculum, educational focus, evaluation, implementation of new programs, marketing, financial issues like cash flow, must be part of this business plan.

  1. Establish a budget

Your budget must take the capital expenses into account. The committee financial expert/accountant should be able to help with the establishment of the budget. In case they are unable to help you, use expert help. There are many experts in Nigeria that can help you and hire them won’t cost you much. In case you are planning on operating a non-profit private primary school in Nigeria, seek donations from organizations, look for grants and private donors. (2)

  1. Choose a location

The next step is to select a location. You basically have two options – you can create a new one from scratch or adjust an existing facility. The best idea is to focus on areas where you can expect local children to enroll in your school. Conduct some research before you choose a location. Feel free to ask real estate agents for help because they know the demographics of different neighborhoods.

  1. Find crucial staff members

This process of recruiting staff members starts with a simple task – hiring a business manager and a headmaster. You must have these two staff members at least a year and a half before the school is officially opened. They will help you prepare for the opening of the school. The business manager will calculate the income and expenses (cash flow) while the headmaster will help you recruit other staff members.

How to Start and operate a world class Private Primary School in Yaba, Lagos

  1. Promotion and marketing

Use every opportunity to promote your school – use your community connections, church and mosque connections and service groups. Feel free to advertise online, in local magazines and newspapers and if you have the money – use TV and radio ads too. Remember to create a website.

  1. Start your business office

Start the process of admissions for students. Get the curriculum materials, educational supplies, furniture and other items needed for proper functioning of your school.

  1. Hire teachers and staff

As we said before, the headmaster can help you with this process, but it is better to interview teachers and staff on your own. Always opt for qualified, trained, experienced and motivated staff members and teachers.

Once you complete these steps, you should open your private primary school. School in Nigeria usually starts in September, but check the local regulations

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