AN ASSESSMENT OF THE CONTRIBUTION OF PUBLIC AND PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP IN EDUCATION (A CASE STUDY OF KARU L.G.A, NASARAWA STATE)
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Over the last few decades, public-private partnerships (PPPs) in education have grown in popularity and influence, as evidenced by the growing number of collaborations between the private sector and governments around the world to help governments meet their educational needs. They are increasingly being seen as a means of achieving the Education for All (Patrinos et al., 2019) and, more recently, the Sustainable Development Goals (Babatunde et al., 2012; Ginsburg, 2012; Verger and Moschetti, 2016; Kim, 2017; Badasyan and Riemann, 2020). PPPs allow the public and private economic sectors to pool their strengths and expertise while maintaining their respective efficiencies and capacities in order to improve the delivery of high-quality public services (Osei-Kyei and Chan, 2017; Boyer and Van Slyke, 2019).
Public-private partnership contracts, according to Hodge et al. (2010, as cited in Termes et al., 2015), are “some sort of durability between public and private actors, in which they jointly develop products and services and share risks, costs, and resources associated with these products” (p. 4). Over the last few years, there has been a lot of discussion about whether private or non-state schools provide a better education than their government school counterparts: Day Ashley et al. (2014) provide an overview of recent research on the role and impact of private schools in developing countries. This question is at the heart of any discussion of the impact of PPPs on student achievement; whether they are charter schools, contract schools, vouchers, or other programs that involve the private sector in the delivery of public education.
As the government’s role and funding shrink, most economies have adopted PPPs as neoliberal policy responses and new public management (NPM) practices to encourage greater private sector involvement in public service delivery (Ginsburg, 2012; Robertson and Verger, 2012; Osei-Kyei and Chan, 2017). PPPs are thought to enable governments to delegate some operational responsibilities to efficient private sector operators, allowing them to focus more on core public sector responsibilities like regulation and supervision (Miraftab, 2014; Olssen and Peters, 2017; Ginsburg, 2012). As a result, PPPs are seen as viable collaborative arrangements and policy reforms for reducing government fiscal and administrative burdens in public infrastructure development and service delivery by enlisting private sector participation (Cheung et al., 2012; Kim, 2017). PPPs are based on the idea that while all organizations have strengths, none of them have all of the strengths required to do everything on their own (Rotter and Zbek, 2010). This is in line with Reim’s (2019:14) assertion that “the primary goal of PPP is to provide a better service than either the public or private sector could provide on their own.” PPPs have thus been adopted as innovative market-led models for improving access to quality public services for the poor and disadvantaged groups by sharing risks, costs, resources, and responsibilities between the public and private sectors, particularly in capacity and budgetary constrained economies (Akyeampong, 2019; Yescombe, 2018). PPPs are seen as a mechanism in developing countries for attracting and crowding in private investments and expertise for economic development in the face of budgetary constraints and pressure on traditional domestic public sources (Amuche and Kukwi, 2013; Ismail and Haris, 2014; UNESCO, 2015). PPPs increase efficiency and synergy by providing long-term access to private capital and technology for rapid delivery of social services and the development of supportive infrastructure (World Bank, 2011; Yescombe, 2018). PPPs in education have grown in popularity around the world as a market-driven strategy for increasing access to high-quality education for all (EFA) while maintaining equity and social justice (World Bank, 2011; Verger and Moschetti, 2016). Proponents of education public-private partnerships (ePPPs) argue that rising school enrollments and demand for education as a basic need, human right, and public good have outpaced public sector capacity to manage and provide it adequately on its own (Rose, 2010; Locatelli, 2107; Termes et al., 2020). As a result, ensuring equitable access to high-quality public-sector education while balancing government budget constraints necessitates the use of ePPP to reduce the government’s role in its delivery (Srivastava, 2010; Kim, 2017). Similarly, governments hope to achieve EFA goals more efficiently and effectively by implementing PPPs in universal education by increasing coverage and ensuring equitable access (Robertson and Verger, 2012). Because of its distributive power through human resource capacity-building, providing quality EFA is also seen as the best equaliser in most societies (Amuche and Kukwi, 2013; Ben-Shahar, 2015). As a result, education is regarded as essential for multidimensional transformation, because investing in the human mind allows for the achievement of all other development goals (World Bank, 2011; Mgaiwa and Poncian, 2016). Education is seen as a dynamic tool for strengthening national capacity and increasing people’s resilience as they strive for long-term development (World Bank, 2011). For the reasons stated above, ePPPs have gained a lot of attention and support as a way to increase long-term access to high-quality EFA at a low cost (UNESCO, 2015; Aslam et al., 2017; Moschetti and Verger, 2020). Nonetheless, ePPP implementation is fraught with difficulties (Mahmood, 2013), and their success is contingent on a set of contextualized critical success factors (CSFs) (Mannan, 2014). The primary motivation for forming public-private partnerships in education is to maximize the potential for increasing equitable access to education and improving educational outcomes, particularly for marginalized groups.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The tertiary education system in Nigeria is facing more serious challenges than ever before. The lack of comprehensive data for sectoral analysis is a problem. According to a report published by the World Bank in 2012, there is a strong link between the decline in educational quality and other factors such as infrastructure decay, a lack of books and journals, and poor research funding. Gender inequality, access, and equal opportunities are all issues that Nigerian educational institutions have yet to address—problems that require a systemic approach. Scholars agree that the system’s expansion is incompatible with the much-desired national strategy and curriculum innovation to meet the demands of a rapidly growing knowledge economy.
Furthermore, education is both a private and a public investment that is shared by individuals, students, their families, employers, the government, and other organizations, including international organizations. The proportion of public and private funds allocated to education, as well as the mechanism by which the cost of education is financed, differs significantly from country to country (Okuwam, 2005). However, recent activities have revealed that the provision of educational materials, resources, equipment, and infrastructures in the Nigerian educational system has drastically decreased. This is due to an increase in student enrolment and the number of higher education institutions without a corresponding provision of basic amenities to address the issues of student enrolment and demand for higher education. The above issues prompted the researchers to conduct this study, which aims to evaluate the contribution of public-private partnerships (PPPs) in education.
- AIMS OF THE STUDY
The major purpose of this study is to examinethe contribution of public private partnership in education. Other general objectives of the study are:
- To examine the key elements of an effective public private partnership policy in Nigeria
- To examine the need and benefit of public private partnership in education
- To examine the impact of public private partnership in educationon learning outcomes of students
- To examine the challenges facing public private partnership in education
- To examine the ways/strategies for improving public private partnership in Nigerian educational system
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- What are the key elements of an effective public private partnership policy in Nigeria?
- What are the need and benefit of public private partnership in education?
- What is the impact of public private partnership in educationon learning outcomes of students?
- What are the challenges facing public private partnership in education?
- What are the ways/strategies for improving public private partnership in Nigerian educational system?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
- There is no impact of public private partnership in educationon learning outcomes of students.
- There is a significant impact of public private partnership in educationon learning outcomes of students.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The importance of any research is tied to proffer solutions to the various problems that face mankind in the environment or society and education in particular. This study helps to enlighten the citizens and economic planners on implication of Public Private Partnership towards the development of education in Karu L.G.A, Nasarawa state. The research is also useful for Government officials and Private Organizations to determine their performance in accordance with the contractual arrangement between the two parties. It will also help the researchers and the upcoming researchers to gain knowledge of the activities of Public Private Partnership and the Nigerian educational sector.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is based on theassessment of the contribution of public and private partnership in education, a case study of Karu L.G.A, Nasarawa State.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (net, questionnaire and view).
Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Public Private Partnership: Public-private partnership (PPP), partnership between an agency of the government and the private sector in the delivery of goods or services to the public. Areas of public policy in which public-private partnerships (PPPs) have been implemented include a wide range of social services, public transportation, and environmental and waste-disposal services.
Development: A process of improving by expanding, enlarging or refining. A process in which something passes by degrees to a different advance stage.
Public: This is use to concern people in general consideration as a whole. It can also be use to describe something funded or provided by the government rather than the private sector.
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