Education is a key element of society, that is, it is one of the building blocks that makes an individual who he is. We have other societal elements, including the family, religious institutions, customs, forms of government and so on. To get an education, there has to be either formal or informal training or both. Informal education involves the form such that an individual gets knowledge by virtue of seemingly unwritten statutes such as morals and culture.
However, when education takes place within a confined environment - the four walls of a classroom - it is referred to as formal education. I know this definition is getting narrowed due to the existence of online schools. In this case, a specific environment is contained in the precise curriculum and time duration for such a school - so it is still confined to certainties.
Depending on a range of factors ranging from finances to proximity to the student’s home, a school where an individual gets an education can be operated by the government or a private individual or organisation. I was privileged to attend private schools up from cradle to secondary school, while I am presently in a public school - a federal government-owned university in a different state. For the purpose of this course, my jurisdiction will be limited to just the secondary school.
As an undergraduate, I can proudly say, to a large extent, that I enjoyed my time in secondary school. The fair distance from home actually helps me to know how things run differently from my immediate home environment. I had to pick up the pace from being a homeboy to one who wakes up early to avoid the teacher’s cane, write and keep neat notes and has to hustle for public transport to school. These and many more are what came as natural teaching for me as a private school student.
Then, unlike my school, the way some public schools were run was not okay one bit. They were plagued by different things that made those who could afford a private school do the needful. Epileptic teachers’ strikes, chronic truancy of students, nonchalant attitudes by teachers and hooliganism were among the vices present in some public schools in my state then. In fact, I remember telling my father that since he went to a public school when he was very young, then he should allow me to do the same. Of course, it was a no. Perhaps, I must have made that suggestion when I saw some of my primary school peers were doing so.
Honestly, my secondary school really did well in shaping who I am today. Due to the structure, no teacher was found wanting in terms of teaching and proper mentoring of students as long as parents did the needful. In six years spent, I was able to grow rapidly in almost all areas of my life. There was healthy competition among students in academics and other areas like sports, which might not be present in public schools then. In my penultimate year, I was made one of the Assistant Headboys, giving me a sense of leadership, responsibility and accountability.
However, there is still room for more. I will very much advise that more extra-curricular activities be imbibed especially the creation and proper functioning of clubs like the Debate and Literacy club, STEM-related Junior Engineers, Technicians and Scientists (JETS) club etc. will cause more participation among students in order to build their self-esteem and communication skills. Recently, I heard some rules have been relaxed at my alma mater. One of which was the hairstyle for boys which was just low-cut or skin then, now it is more like a free-for-all. I still think hair styling needs to be regulated scrupulously by the school.
On the other hand, public schools have been getting the correct juices from the government and some have risen back to their glory days. The old students’ associations have been providing the needed support to ensure students' welfare is well catered for both in academics and other areas of need. I have seen some public students who have gone on to perform exceptionally well in external exams and games all thanks to the laudable support.