Proprietors of private schools in Lagos State have called on the government to come to their aid in surviving the post COVID – 19 pandemic challenges that they are facing.
Educational sector is one of the most adversely affected sectors globally by the outbreak of the pandemic that is threatening social, economic, political and other orders, and the most victims are those in the private educational establishments.
Many of these private schools are struggling to survive the aftermath of the pandemic and also are finding difficult to comply with the COVID – 19 protocols stipulated by the government as the requirements for reopening after about seven months of their schools without any income.
Some of these schools had to pay a certain percentage of salaries to their staff to keep them and their families alive.
Alhaji Olawale Amusa, the Proprietor of the HOMAT Group of Schools and the State Chairman, National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), in an interview with THE IMPACT after the re – opening of schools, said that private schools are in need of government assistance in term of aid and grants.
“We are also trying to let the government know that we are stakeholders who have invested and that we are experiencing a tough period.
“We believe that the government should come to our rescue through aid and grants so that many of our staff, who were fully paid during the period of the lockdown, can continue to receive their normal salaries so that they can further assist in developing our schools.
“Also, we need the assistance of the government, regarding the online lessons, because we have to be doing that alongside physical classes. Many schools cannot afford the cost of running online lessons. These are schools that have been incurring expenses in the past six months with any income”, he explained.
“Equally, the government should also assist in the area of procuring tablets for students. We can no longer employ the old method of doing things, we are now in the era of new normal which means blended learning must be adopted in various schools considering the fact that we cannot spend more than four days in school”.
He stated that the government has been intervening in the area of negotiating comfortable loans and repayment with some banks to assis private schools owners.
“We have written letters through the NAPPS national body, especially the office of the President in person of Mr Otulewa, on areas we want the government to assist our members”.
“On our own part in Lagos State, the association, which is ably led by myself, has also written letters to that effect and the officials of the Lagos State Government are working towards that.
“Recently, the government approached two banks to negotiate loans for our members and I am sure that something will be done before this week runs out. They are trying to negotiate on one digit loan interest rate for some of our members”, he said.