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Title page………………………………………………………………….i


Approval page …………………………………………………………..iii



Table of content…………………………………………………………….vi




1.1       Background of the study                                                                                            1

1.2       Statement of the Problem                                                                                            7

1.3       Purpose of the Study                                                                                     9

1.4       Research Questions                                                                                        10

1.5       Hypotheses                                                                                                                10

1.6       Significance of the Study                                                                                           11

1.7       Scope of the Study                                                                                                     13

1.8       Operational Definition of Terms                                                                     13





2.1       Public Schools and Private Schools                                                               15

2.2       Concept of Public Secondary Schools                                                                        17

2.3       Historical Development of Public Secondary Schools                                   19

2.4       The Brief Historical Development of Private Education                               22

2.5       Comparative Analysis of Public and Private Schools                                    24

2.6       Determine of Academic Performance of Students in

            Public and Private Schools                                                                             28

2.7       Public and Private Schools; Nature, Performance, and

            Conditions of Work                                                                                        34

2.8       The Influence of Parents level of Education and

            Socio-Economic Status                                                                                              36

2.9       Summary of Literature Review                                                                                  37



3.1       Research Design                                                                                                         40

3.2       Population and sample of the Study                                                               41

3.3       Sampling Techniques                                                                                      41

3.4       Instrument for Data Collection                                                                                   42

3.5       Validity and Reliability of Instrument                                                                       43

3.6       Procedure for Data Collection                                                                                    44

3.7       Method of Data Analysis                                                                                            44



4.1       Presentation of Demography Data                                                                 46

4.2       Analysis of Research Questions                                                                                 48       

4.3       Hypothesis Testing                                                                                         56

4.4       Discussion of Findings                                                                                               57



5.1       Summary                                                                                                                     61

5.2       Conclusion                                                                                                                  62

5.3       Recommendations                                                                                                      63

5.4       Limitation of the Studies                                                                                            64

References                                                                                                                              65

Appendices                                                                                                                             69




This study X-rayed the comparative assessment of quality attainment between public and private secondary schools in Pankshin Local Government Area. A descriptive survey research design adopted for this study. The target population of this study consisted of all 3611 teachers teaching in Secondary School both public and private schools in Pankshin local government area. The study employed a stratified sampling technique to draw 110 as sample from the population. A structured questionnaire was used to collect responses from the respondents which was validated by some experts and the project supervisor.  A mean score was used to answer the research questions and chi-square was used to test the hypothesis. The findings revealed that private schools performed more than public schools, it was also assert that Private schools students performed academically better in public examination than their counterparts, Teachers in public school are not experienced. The study recommended that Government should apply proper check and balance mechanism to improve the performance of public schools. The concluded that Education is very important and it provides the base for socio-economic development for any country if educational system is of poor quality it may be one of the most important reasons why poor countries do not grow. As in Pankshin, the quality of education is on the decline in spite of the fact that the government is trying for improved quality and quantity of education by introducing free education at secondary level. Government is emphasizing on quantity not on quality of education.







1.1 Background of the Study

Education has been described as the best legacy that any nation or individual, family, could leave behind for generation yet to come. It is an invaluable asset, therefore, to both the individual and the society since, it has been also used from time immemorial, as a veritable instrument of cultural transmission. Education is of great importance to every nation. It therefore, attracts considerable attention from the family, community and to all tiers of government.

The history of educational ownership in Nigeria could be traced to the period when Western education was introduced to the country, in the 19th century. As at the time in question missionaries and churches played dominant roles towards the development and administration of education. Even, when the colonial and self-governments took over the control the significance of education towards national development made private individual, communities and even both the local and international organizations to have interest in the development of education at all level. Ajayi (1968) opined that education is the mechanism by means of which a society generates the knowledge and skills required for its own survival and sustenance and which it transmits to future generations through the process of instruction to its youths. Society can only develop and exist decently and wisely if it ensures that its educational system is adequate, relevant, and sustainable. Also, against the background of the apparent inertia of government apparatus in providing quality education for the teeming population, it becomes expedient that private initiative in education be facilitated and encouraged.

The variation in academic performance of students in secondary schools becomes an issue in Nigeria. The gap that exists between the poor and rich amounted to a clerical called that portrays the academic performance of students in public and private secondary schools in Nigeria. The gap between public and private school effectiveness is wide and greatly international level.

Public school are government owned, financed and managed by either federal, state or local government. While private schools are school other than those established by public authority which conform to the set minimum standards and may be approved by government. Both the public and private schools have the secondary schools that implement the secondary education curriculum specified in the National Policy on Education 2004. Researches and the knowledge of the researcher have shown that before Nigeria independence in 1960, several private schools existed with few or no government established institutions of learning. But, due to the short-comings of these private schools, the government after the civil war in 1970 intensified the takeover of private schools from their original owners and also established new public schools to control educational standard. Public secondary schools are supported and controlled by the government of the state. Adeyinka (2010) stated that public schools are those schools that were established, managed, financed, as well as supervised by the government. He further opined that those schools were established with the tax payer’s money in order to educate the generality of the people irrespective of their economic, social, or political status in the society. Public secondary schools are neither controlled by individuals, private interest groups, or agencies but by the government. After the creation of Nigeria, all the schools that were established were under the management and control of either the federal and state government.

Mojeeb Alabi in National mirror (2012), opined that History as a subject seems to be receiving less attention; he attributed the problem to constant changes in government policy. He stated that Nigeria’s educational policy is seriously unfriendly to local contents in the public secondary schools, this notwithstanding, lack of adequate funding, poor teacher’s salary among others adversely affect the teaching and learning in most public schools. As a result of this, private individuals, private groups and organization establish, manage and finance private schools to educate children and also make profit. The owners and proprietors of those private schools are profit earners due to the fact that they invested their money in building quality schools, providing all the necessary facilities and equipment, employment of qualified and competent teachers for the purpose of giving good education to the children and also making profits. These private schools include in their curriculum all the subjects especially those not done in public schools. Nwangwu (2000) stated that the private schools offer what the public schools cannot provide and that they relive parents the burden of having their children stay at home for long periods of time as a result of continuous strikes by teachers in the public schools. He stated that private schools run without disruption in the schools calendar thereby providing steady and quality education unlike the public schools. Okpara (2000) also observed that in NECO Examinations, the performances of students in private schools are better than the performance of students in public schools. He also stated that private schools are closely monitored and supervised by the school management boards, as a result; they perform better in external examinations.

Holland (2014) provided evidence that private institutions perform academically better than their public counterparts. In addition, policy makers, parents, and other interested citizens often assume that private secondary schools, on the whole, are better academically than public secondary schools. However, this empirical assumption is not supported by evidence. Decisions by parents or policy makers about private secondary school choice are often rooted in the assumption that, by choosing private secondary schools, families will improve the academic preparation of their children. This notion of a positive for private secondary school effect rests on a body of research that suggests private schools outperform public schools (CEP, 2007). Recent trends around the world also show that many developed and developing countries are seeking partnerships between the public and private sector to share costs and improve the provision of education.

At present, institutions of learning, whether public or private that can afford to give children good quality education have remain the major concern for parents and guardians. Parents sort for secondary schools that can develop effective foundation stage for the tertiary education of their children. Hence, the success of students in tertiary education is dependent on the quality of secondary education management, of which the public and private schools are directly concerned in Pankshin Local Government Area. Previous attempts to analyze the impact of the quality of public schools on the demand for private education pointed out the difficulties arising from the endogeneity of public expenditures in education (Glick & Sahn, 2006). The main concern is related to the simultaneity of the enrollment and public expenditure decisions. Indeed, enrollment in private schools itself may cause a low level of education resulting in a poor quality of public schools. This is a consequence of the decrease in political support for public expenditures on education caused by a high proportion of households opting out of public education.

Governments in these countries are looking for alternative mechanisms of education delivery and financing outside of the public realm. These initiatives are promoted by budgetary stringencies and a greater reliance on the market to correct inefficiencies in funding public schools (Cuellar-Marchelli, 2003). Another important aspect of public-private quality attainment is the growing competition in the private sector, and its impact on school and student academic performance. Although the overwhelming majority of private schools are created by religious and other community organizations, there are now a few new schools which operated by individuals or groups of individuals as for-profit institutions (Mays, 2013).

The rate and degree of failure by secondary schools students both, in the private and public secondary schools in external examination is now at an alarming rate. Considering the concern of the parents and guardians for their children’s performance and the fact that there is a sharp increase in the number of schools and students, Adu and Oshati (2014) said that there is a need to continuously evaluate the trends in the performance of the students in public and private schools. Again, Kolawole (2000) agreed with Adu and Oshati (2014) when he stated that the problems that normally accompany the release of students’ result by the West African Examination Council every year have called for continuous research in order to find a permanent solution to those factors yet unknown. In recent times, there has been a sudden upsurge in the establishment of private secondary schools because of the liberalization policy of schools and the loss of confidence in public secondary schools. Most of the parents are of the opinion that the standard in private secondary schools is higher than what is in the public secondary schools. Academic performance has indeed attracted a lot of research in recent years.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Observations have shown that lot of people in our society prefer to send their children to private schools. It was believed that teachers in those schools show much dedication and appear to perform better on their job. It was being speculated that the principals in those private schools were effective on their job and they handle the staff effectively and make them to produce good result. It was observed that although public schools seem to have more qualified teachers and relatively better facilities, nevertheless, they did not attract much patronage especially from the elite, rich and even the government workers. The study was to examine quality attainment between public and private secondary school, in some selected secondary schools in Pankshin looking at the level of administrative effectiveness in each of public and private schools and also the difference in their level of administrative effectiveness. It was also to examine if there is any relationship between administrative effectiveness and student’s academic performance. The secondary schools in Nigeria are witnessing students’ poor academic achievement. It appears students’ poor performance of students is associated with low level of administrative effectiveness. Moreover, people believed that public schools condone lots of poor performance among students, and that excesses could be curtailed with effective administration.

Various researchers such as Mtana (2003), Bennel (2004), Barth (2009), Omari (2011) holds that there is a direct direct difference between students studying in private and public secondary schools, teachers classroom performance, and their students’ academic performance. It appears that there is a great problem in public secondary schools in the aspect of students’ academic performance. Several studies have been carried such as Dollman (1996), Mbwambo (2005), Levacic (2009), Omari (2011) and Hossain (2012) they found out that students studying in public secondary schools are most likely to perform poorly in their classrooms academic performance. The former perspective is that students from public secondary schools can also perform well academically in classrooms. It is becoming apparent that available evidence from Nigeria has not been definite and conclusive in identifying specific factors causes better academic performance in secondary schools that have great impacts on students classroom performance. Due to this gap the study will narrow down and bridge the gap by examining the factors that hinder quality attainment of public secondary schools.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

            The purpose of the study was the assessment of quality attainment between public and private secondary school, in secondary schools in pankshin.

Specifically, the main objective of the study are;

  1. Compare the quality of education both public and private schools.
  2. Analyze the education level of teachers, methods of teaching and quality of curriculum both at public and private schools
  3. Analyze future challenges to both public and private secondary schools systems
  4. Ascertain the relationship between the quality attainment in public school and private school

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What are the quality of education in both public and private schools?
  2. To what extend do the educational level of teachers, methods of teaching and quality of curriculum both at public and private schools create disparities between public and private schools
  3. What are the future challenges to both public and private schools systems?
  4. What are the relationship between the quality attainment in public school and private school?


For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher; 

H0: There is no difference between the quality attainment in public school and private school

H1: There is difference between the quality attainment in public school and private school

H02: There is no significance difference in the quality of education of both public and private secondary schools.

1.6 Significance of the Study

First, the study will identify all the factors that hinder the provision of quality education in public and private secondary schools in Pankshin.

With this data, the government would come up with interventions for secondary school programs. The government, through the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology would benefit from the study as it would enable it to formulate quality policies for secondary school educational programs. The study will provide the Ministry of Education with up-to-date information concerning secondary schools. The study would also be of great importance to the government, especially in the current situation where the country needs key information, that is, information pertinent to the provision of quality education in the country.

 Similarly, the study would also be useful to the educational administrators as they would adapt the findings to school policies and regulations and ensure they are in line with government educational objectives.

The study findings will also benefit head teachers and administrators. They would identify aspects of quality deficiency and adopt appropriate improvements at the level of schools. In addition, the findings would help them to assess the administrative policies in terms of planning, school facilities, equipment, and resources for effective provision of quality education. Furthermore, the findings would provide the basis for corrective measures in quality education gaps that require immediate action.

Teachers are key players in the provision of quality education. The findings will boost their case for training and career development to enhance their knowledge as well as motivate them for better performance.

Students too will benefit from the findings, especially in maximizing effective student learning habits and other educational benefits.

In addition, parents and community members/leaders will become more aware of their role in contributing to the provision of quality education and development of schools through active involvement and support.

This study will also guide Non-Government Organizations to make targeted and informed interventions to help the government solve problems in the education sector.

Finally, the study will compile data on the provision of quality education which other researchers will find useful and beneficial for their studies.


The scope of the study covers an assessment of quality attainment between public and private secondary schools in Pankshin local government area of plateau state. In order to fully capture its effect on the educational sector, a thorough empirical investigation will be conducted with data covering a range of 5 schools within Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau State.


ASSESSMENT: The action of assessing someone or something

QUALITY: The standard of something as measured against other things of a similar kind; the degree of excellence of something

ATTAINMENT: The action or fact of achieving a goal towards which one has worked

PUBLIC SCHOOL: Public school may refer to: State school a no-fee school, funded and operated by the state; 

PRIVATE SCHOOL: Private schools, also known as independent schools, non-governmental, or non-state schools, are not administered by local, state or national governments; thus, they retain the right to select their students and are funded in whole or in part by charging their students tuition, rather than relying on mandatory taxation


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