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Miss M had just handed out the exam question papers to her pupils, in the private school where she teaches French.

"Miss M, how are the answers arrange?" asked one pupil. "Is it AA or BB or ABAB?"

It took Miss M a few seconds to understand the child's question.
Her shock led her probe further. Turns out the previous teacher always rehearsed the exam questions with the pupils and also told them in what order she'd arranged the answers.

The pupils didn't need to read or understand the questions. They just followed the given format.
Why would a teacher do this, you may ask.

Because many private schools in Nigeria fire teachers when their students fail. Even when there's proof that the student has learning difficulties, isn't old enough or ready for that class or needs extra attention.
To avoid losing their jobs and justify gifts (bribes) given by parents, teachers have taken to providing answers for the pupils.

Parents pay huge sums in these schools. To keep their customers satisfied, some private schools don't have failing grades. All pupils must be passed.
If this isn't done and the children fail, parents take their wards elsewhere, pay more money and the children are promoted to the next class.

I've seen parents come to school to fight and demand teachers be fired by the school administration for daring to score their child a D.
The constant refrain is, "After all the money I pay here, why will he have a D? My money pays your salary!"

Some of these kids don't do any sort of school work once they get home. They go from tabs, to TV, video games and parties. But teachers will lose their jobs if they fail.
Pupils who inform you that they won't learn and you can't touch them because their daddy or mummy 'has money'.

I once paired a Pry 4 pupil with a classmate for a class project. This girl looked me in the face and said, "Miss E, I don't want any fucking partner!"
This, in the school I attended, would've seen me washing my mouth out with bleach under the strict supervision of the headmistress.

But with that child, in that school, I had to cajole and beg. With kids like her, you need extra patience. She's just a reflection of home.
Another, a 9 year old, threw a tantrum because his father wouldn't buy him a ₦300,000 phone. His dad struck a bargain with him; if he passed that term, he'd get that phone.

This boy already had issues in school. A phone wasn't a priority. He did poorly. He still got the phone.
Shall I speak of parents who send children to school with wads of ₦1000 notes, accompanied by an instruction.

"My daddy/mummy said you should take this and do all my assignments for the session."

In this economy, very few teachers and school Admin have the gumption to say no.
If you're passionate about your job, you make extra time for the children. You become teacher, private tutor, counsellor, confidante, etc. all for no pay.

If not, you wait for the holidays and parents will pay for summer classes so they can learn what they should already know.
There are good private schools, no doubt. But tell you, they are few.

The rest bribe school inspectors so they can keep their accreditation (this one is a whole other thread), demand that teachers take money from parents and ensure their wards don't fail,
insist that teachers DO NOT teach in any way that will demand pupils think at all, and generally make a mess of the children.

Parents literally offer you money to help a child with their First School Leaving Certificate exams!
Parents don't bother with school research. They go into paroxysms of pleasure if a white man or woman is on the school board.

Add the words "international", "British/American curriculum", "government approved", and a billboard with pupils of mixed races and voilà!
Yes, the private (and entire) educational system is a mess. We mark WASSCE and GCE scripts every year and I can tell you for a fact that each year is worse than the one before. There are scripts where students copy everything, down to the names and exam numbers of other students.
From some scripts, you can tell that a teacher has written down the answers on the board, because some of the students also copied down the warning, "Don't write this part in your answer booklet."

Occasionally, you'll find, "Please Sir/Ma, help me pass," in a script.
This thread may be incoherent, pardon me. I just wanted to share. What I've written here is drawn from my brief stint as a tutor, and those of my mother and friend who have worked as teachers in public and private schools.
Many teachers who are used to this system are now entitled. You hear teachers say things like, "This one that his father doesn't give me any money. Olodo!"

A child could be bright but a teacher will give them a fail grade because, "his mother/father doesn't drop something."
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