By Demola Akinyemi – Ilorin
The Kwara State Government on Tuesday said it that it has set aside the sum of N135,500,000 under the Kwara State Social Investment Programme (KWASSIP) as an interest-free loan to 1,119 private school owners across the state.
The amount is in form of assistance to cushion the effect of COVID-19 in the private schools in the state ahead of resumption and avoid massive loss of jobs.
This is contained in a press statement issued by the governor’s chief press secretary Rafiu Ajakaye made available to journalists in Ilorin.
According to the statement, “KWASSIP has engaged with the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) in Kwara State after they reached out for assistance to cushion the effects of school closure arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The statement said the 1,119 private schools have been grouped into two, each category receiving between N200,000 and N100,000 depending on their staff strength.
Under the arrangement, category A schools — which totalled 236 and have 20 staff and above — will each receive N200,000 to support their workers.
Category B schools, with 19 or less staff and totalling 883 schools, are to receive N100,000 each under the arrangement that is purely voluntary.
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Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq had during a recent virtual meeting held with the umbrella bodies of private schools in the state pledged to offer an interest-free loan to the owners as salary support for their workers to prevent massive loss of job and poverty surge in the education sub-sector.
AbdulRazaq said he would not be blind to the plight of any Kwaran, including proprietors and workers across private schools in the state who he acknowledged had been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic due to the closure of schools and some other businesses for months.
The private school owners had during the virtual meeting commended the administration for the food palliatives given to them through the COVID-19 committee.
On Friday, AbdulRazaq officially launched the disbursement of the Owo Isowo, a component of the state social investment programmes to assist 21,623 petty traders across the state.