The National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) has expressed the readiness of members of the association to offer scholarships to no fewer than 400,000 indigent children across the country in the next three years as part of contribution to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on education.
This is as the association condemned what it described as multiple taxes and levies charged by both federal and state government on private schools, and proposed the establishment of a special financial institution, such as “Education Bank’ to support private schools with concessionary interest (single digit) that takes peculiarity of school operations into account.
The National President of the association, Otunba Yomi Otubela, who disclosed this yesterday during a virtual press conference in commemoration of the 2020 Annual NAPPS Day, said the decision had already been communicated to the Federal Ministry of Education to partner the government in proffering solution to the crisis in the sector.
“Therefore, it is the unanimous decision of the national executives of NAPPS that each of about 40,000 proprietors in NAPPS shall oblige to award scholarships to a target of 10 indigent children per year for a consecutive three years,” he said. Meanwhile, the Founder and Chancellor of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Aare Afe Babalola (SAN) lamented the current low quality and standard of education in the country, which he traced to poor budgetary allocation to the sector.
The legal icon, who presented a paper on “Digital Revolution as a Tool in Revamping Nigeria’s Education in Post-COVID-19 Era,” however, said that the place of digital revolution in revamping Nigeria’s education in post-COVID-19 era had become a moral imperative, regretting that the government education budget is below 7 per cent of the UNESCO benchmark. Underscoring the imperativeness of the digital revolution in post-COVID-19 era, Chief Babalola said the use of computer technology to access education online/virtually, share information and data in real time without being physically located together, and what they need at the right time.
“If any university and school hopes to become a world class university or institution it is imperative that all the teachers must go digital,” he noted, saying when teachers were using chalk and Blackboard had since changed as people can now communicate with the world right where they are seated through the instrumentalities of hand set and computers. Otubela added: ‘It should be noted that our member schools before now had been devoted to offer different forms of scholarships to indigent students, but we want to do more. With this, the association is poised to remove a minimum of about 400,000 children from the streets each year.
Within the period, our target is to reduce the rate by four per cent annually as an addition to government efforts.” According to him, the theme for this year’s NAPPS Day was apt as it gives an insight into the plethora of challenges school owners have had to confront in the past months, which indeed have reshaped the way they do things due to the rude interruption of COVID-19 on every aspect of their lives.
Otubela, therefore, lauded the support from the management of School Try, an ICT firm, to NAPPS member private schools across the federation in the bid for the schools to adopt digitalisation of school processes