Private schools Vs Public schools: what you need to know

When choosing a school to study in, it is important to know the kind of school it is and how it is run. This knowledge will help you choose wisely and prepare you for the school.

In Nigeria today we have mainly 2 types of schools; Private schools and Public schools. Private schools are owned and run by an individual, group, or religious organizations. They are responsible for the establishing and running of the school activities.

Public schools however are owned and run by the government. The Government sets up the school and then appoints people to man the affairs of the institution.

There are 2 types of Government schools; Federal schools and State schools. Federal schools are built and owned by the the Federal government while state schools by the state.

While thinking of a university to study, there are some factors to consider before choosing the school.

Below are factors to consider in choosing where to study.

1. Ownership

Most private schools are owned by individuals. Sometimes an organization or religious group can establish a school too, such schools are still private schools given that the organization is non-government organization, e.g Churches, Foundations, Banks, etc.

Public schools on the other hand are owned by the government and are run by an administration that reports to the government body in-charge of the school. Federal schools are owned by the Federal government while state schools by the state government.

2. Location

There is no certain location of private schools. They can be located wherever the owner/s decides. It basically involved getting a venue for the school and establishing building infrastructure there.

However public schools are not just built anywhere, they are built in response to the educational need of a state or states. To ensure federal character in Nigeria, all states must have at least one federal and state universities, polytechnics and College of Education.

3. Cost

In the latest universities rating conducted by the National Universities Commission (NUC), the top 10 most expensive universities in Nigeria are all private universities with Babcock University topping the list. In public schools, the cost of learning has been greatly subsidized by the government, being responsible for the maintenance of the school.

A private university fees comprises of all the payment for all service, some of which public schools are exempted from.

A federal school is often cheaper than its state counterpart. The standard of living in Private schools are also generally more expensive than public schools.

In most private tertiary institutions, students are prohibited from cooking in the hostel and so have to take all their meals at the university cafeteria which is generally more expensive. This is not the case for Public schools.

Also check out the List of federal universities in Nigeria and their school fees (2022).

4. Accommodation

As a ground rule in most private schools in Nigeria, all students live on campus within the university premises. This is in contrast to public schools where students can either live on or off campus.

This rule in private universities is somewhat akin to the restriction of movement and regulating their freedom, for instance in some private schools, students do not leave the school without valid reason (s) reported to the school authorities weeks ahead. Students are at a disadvantage should an emergency occur.

5. Courses

In Nigeria, not all private universities are accredited to run some courses. Some major courses are exclusive to public schools.

In some states, only public schools offer some particular courses. Also check out 5 good courses to study in Nigeria with good employment rate.

6. Administration

Private universities have different administrative regulations, but they majorly have the same pattern of rules ranging from dress-codes to behaviour pattern and curfew (some schools prohibit movements after a certain hour).

Some materials are contraband in most private schools including harmless materials and equipment (e.g use of mobile phone is prohibited in covenant university and some other top private schools), the list is endless and going contrary to the set rules leads to suspension or worse, expulsion.

Public schools have less strenuous rules and guidelines.

7. Admission Chances

Private schools has a high record of admitting applicants, mainly because the admission of students in some private universities is dependent on the promptness of payment of the fees.

Public school admissions is mainly based on merit, and highly competitive for several reasons ranging from socioeconomic and academic factors to historical factors.

See my post on Admission into Nigerian universities: 6 things to expect 2022/23.

8. Population

According to NUC, private universities students make up 6℅ of the students population in Nigeria. The remaining 94 % of students are in public schools.

There are so many factors responsible for this. One reason is the cost, another is the location. School policies affect students population density too. Some students who cannot adhere to the strenuous rules of private universities even though their parents have the wherewithal opt for public schools.

Schooling should be enjoyable, but your school will determine to what extent you enjoy your education. In Choosing your school of study, These factors should be duly considered.

Everyone has a unique preference, whereas some enjoy the freedom in public schools, others prefer the vigilance of private schools. Go for which ever one you prefer, howbeit, take these knowledge with you.

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Feel free to leave a comment below this post in case you have any question. I’m happy to help further.

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