Maryam Abeeb, Abuja
The National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) has pledged one Million full scholarships to out of school children across the country annually.
This was disclosed by the President of NAPPS, Chief Yomi Otubela during a working visit to the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu in Abuja.
He explained that it is a unanimous decision of the National Executive of NAPPS that each of the 40,000 proprietors will award scholarship to target 10 indigent children per year for a consecutive three years.
Otubela added that the association committed to remove a minimum of about 40,000 children from the streets, noting that this is targeted to reduce 4% annum as an addition to government efforts.
‘’While applauding your efforts to increase access to school in the face of a worrisome situation where out-of-school children in the country as noted above is our synopsis is as high as 10.5m children , we rose from NEC meeting with a strong decision to partner your office in proffering solution.
‘’Therefore , it is the unanimous decision of the national executive of NAPPS that each of about proprietors shall oblige to award scholarships to a target of ten(10) indigent children per year for a consecutive three (3) years.
‘’It should be noted that our member schools have already been giving different forms of scholarship to indigent students, but we want to do more. With this, the association poised to remove a minimum of about 40,000 children from the streets each year. Within the period, our target is to reduce the rate by 4% per annum as an addition to government efforts, ‘’ he said.
Further speaking, he noted that the resumption of schools after closure due to COVID -19 pandemic has made different states to be currently running different academic calendars.
He explained that some states are presently running 3rd term of the 2019/2020 academic session, while some states have already moved on to 1st term 2020/2021 academic session.
NAPPS boss lamented that this may not portend good development for the education sector, enjoining the Federal Government to assist in Unification of these different academic calendars.
According to him, multiple taxation has become a factor unseating many school owners, imploring the Minister of Education to liaise with various states to eliminate duplication of taxes and levies.
Otubela while commending the federal Government on the recent approval of a special salary scale and new retirement age for teachers in commemoration of the 2020 World Teachers Day, he urged the Government to establish a special grant/palliatives fund for teachers in private schools.
Also, the Association of Private Schools Owners in Nigeria (APSON) has demanded that the Ministry of education should include the private school pupils into the Federal Government Scholarship programme.
The President of APSON, Godly Opukeme during his remark appealed that the private schools should be included when distributing teaching and learning facilities whenever the items are available, adding that private schools compliments and supplements government effort in the sector.
Responding, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu said that all the demands will be looked into for the growth and development of the nation’s education sector.