In those days, a single government or missionary owned primary school in a community would be just enough to cater for the children of the entire community. Then, there was no need for private nursery and primary schools. Today, the story has changed -- no single primary or nursery school would be able to take care of the entire kids in a community, especially in urban places like Lagos and Abuja.
It has also become the general perception that the standard of education in privately owned and managed schools are higher compared to that of the ill-equipped and badly maintained government owned schools.
Sending ones children to public schools is equally regarded as evidence of poverty. Therefore, every parent struggle to send their children to any available private school, doesn't matter if that one is even worse than the public school as long as it is called 'Private school'. These general trends has combine to make investment into nursery and primary school a worthwhile investment.
I've seen someone who only manage to feed few years ago become a millionaire through the small nursery and primary school he borrowed money to start.
Some of the lowest nursery and primary schools in area like Lagos charge nothing less than N7,000 as school fees, while good ones charge from N30,000 to as much as N500,000 school fees per term (I pay N75,000 for my 3years old daughter per term)just to learn A.B.C.D!
If in your school you charge N10,000 per term and you have 200 pupil, the amount you'll be getting from school fees is 10,000 x 200 = 2,000,000 Naira per term and it wouldn't take you more than a million Naira to run such school every term.
Now you can see that investment in Nursery and Primary school is a worthwhile investment that has decent profit returns. If you are ready to hit the ground and get started, here are the requirements.
Land in a good Area
Prices of landed property varies from place to place but you can get land in some developing areas of Lagos for about N600,000 to N2,000,000. Don't buy in isolated area where people are not living, no parent would want to patronize you in such area.
Due the inherent risk involved in child's movement, parent will prefer a school that is within their home, and for easy pick up of their children.
Minimum of one plot of 120 by 60 is what you need to be able to accommodate the school building and playground.
Note: Some people go for rented apartment -- if you do not have enough money to buy land and build your own house, rent an apartment, use it to raise money to build later
Erect your building
The cost of building depends on the size and quality of the building you intends to construct. Your Engineer will be able to put you through in this, seat down with him to discuss it properly.
Insist on good structure because, your marketing starts from there. The classrooms should be spacious, at least 3.5m square per child under the age of two, at least 2.5m square per child aged two or at least 2.3m square per child aged three to seven.
Most Nursery and Primary school class rooms used to small and jam-packed. Yours shouldn't be like that.Water is very essential and you need plenty of it in your school, get borehole that will supply you water at all time.
Equip your Classrooms
Apart from the normal chairs and tables (which you can get Carpenters to do for you at a very reduced price) you also need to equip your classrooms with computer and other learning aids, parents will be happier to pay when they see that your classes are properly equipped.
You need plenty of toys and other gadgets that is used for children's education and Montessori. You need video and large screen TV in all the classrooms, not to play movies but for playing educational videos and sometimes, cartoon depending on the the class and the children's age.
Buy a school bus if you intend to offer pick and drop which almost compulsory for every school since most parents would demand for it. A nice Tokunbo bus goes for about N600,000. Get a decent bus that will speak well of your school, and avoid jam-packing children in a bus.
If one bus isn't enough buy two, parents are paying you extra for the service, give them the best they deserve. Besides, it's irritating seeing children packed up in a bus that is not fit for transporting animals let alone human being.
Employ qualified Teachers
If you are just the proprietor of the nursery and primary school, you do not need any formal qualifications but if you are going to be the school manager you need the minimum of NCE and experience in educational administration
Your Teachers should have minimum of NCE and experience in childcare education or play-work. Teachers who are passionate about children are preferred.
Register your School and KickoffLike every other businesses, you need to register your school as a sole proprietorship or depending on what you want if there are investors.
Approach the Corporate Affair commission of Nigeria to register your name, you may needed the service of a Lawyer in this regard.
Once you've put all these in place, the next thing is to advertise your school and get down to business.
Great businesses are born this way. My subsequent articles on Day Care and Montessori will address some other logistics and teaching methods.
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