By Adesina Wahab
PRIVATE school owners and teachers have cried out to the government for help, as their means of livelihood is being seriously threatened by the ravaging coronavirus pandemic.
Specifically, the owners, under the aegis of the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools, NAPPS, are seeking stimulus funding to turn around their businesses, tax relief, technical support to embark on online teaching among others. The teachers are also asking the government to consider them in the sharing of palliatives.
Speaking for the schóol owners, the Lagos State President of NAPPS, Chief Amusa Olawale, said his association had written to the Lagos State Government on the issues and expressed the hope that something positive would come out of the effort.
He said: “We deserve being supported. The government generates funds through us as we pay taxes, levies, and other revenues. Our sector should not be forgotten. The number of learners in private schools is far more than those in public schools. We also employ more than 60 percent of teachers in schools. We need tax relief and soft loans to boost our businesses.”
Olawale also called for the inclusion of teachers and pupils in private schools in the list of beneficiaries of government’s palliatives. On the glamour by teachers in private schools for some sort of compensation during this period of school closure, the NAPPS boss said his members were trying their best in that regard.
“Nobody knows when the schools will be reopened. However, we are aware that for us to retain our good hands, we must pay them something. It is only teachers in the public sector that are enjoying the luxury of full payment while the schools are not in session. It is a matter of understanding between teachers and their employers and the welfare of our teachers is also a great concern for us,” he explained.