Recession: Parents Indebted To Us, Private School Proprietors’ Lament | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Recession: Parents Indebted To Us, Private School Proprietors’ Lament

Recession
Posted: Nov 22, 2016 at 10:23 pm   /   by   /   comments (1)

 

INNOCENT OWEH

 

 

ABUJA

With less than few weeks to wrap up the first academic term in public and private schools across the country, a large percentage of parents are said to be indebted to their ward’s school authorities owing to the economic recession.

Dr. Sally Adukwu-Bolujoko, President of the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), made the disclosure on Tuesday in Abuja at an interactive forum to herald a national conference of the association, slated for today, Wednesday 23.

She said many parents who hitherto were never found wanting in paying their children’s school fees now give their wards letters to school management to be allowed to remain in school until they are able to raise the fees.

Adukwu-Bolujoko said owing to the development, her members have resorted to allowing parents pay the fees installmentally to maintain existing relationship.

She also said as a result of human face and commitment to maintain high standard of education in the country, an instruction has been passed to the estimated one million membership base not to reduce the fees charged or increase it.

She said, “Many of my good parents don’t have money to pay school fees anymore, I have plenty letters begging me, please let my child stay. One called me this (Tuesday) morning from Dubai, saying look, thank God they put me in this trip to Dubai. Whatever they pay me now is what I am leaning on to pay my children’s school fees.

“We insist that we should not reduce quality, we are not increasing school fees either. We are bent to manage our costs. In NAPPS, we have asked every school to look inwards and manage our costs. My advice is stay afloat, don’t increase school fees, manage your costs. In every recession in the world, there is bound to be sack and job losses. We are not going to declare any school bankrupt but we have to manage our costs. Where there are too many hands in some departments and units, some people will have to go, meaning sack.

“We had our NAPPS Day last month and I tried to think of what we can do in times of recession to stay afloat. I discovered that to give quality education as we do in this country is not easy. We bear a lot of costs in the area of salaries of our staff; the staff always want more money because the economy is in recession and what they have in hand will not take them home and they have to pay for their needs.

“In terms of buying equipment some of our laboratory equipment you can’t find in Nigeria, it has to come from China, Dubai and so on. In terms of consumables which we need every time, quality education involves some big expenditures and that possibly is why the public sector could not match it and has not been able to match it.”

She said with the challenges facing the educational system,it would not be out of place for the Federal Government to establish Education Bank,like in the agricultural sector, where the Bank of Agric is in existence.

In her words, such measures would help proprietors of private schools access soft loans which would go a long way in maintaining existing standards.

“Most private schools in Nigeria go to access bank loans with higher interest rates that range from 25 per cent to 30 per cent.

“In my candid opinion, Education Bank should be afloat, I am calling on the Federal Government that as we have Bank of Agriculture, Bank of Industry, Education Bank should even take precedence over these ones because without education there would be no nation. There would be no civilisation on earth and there would be no human being staying together without education.

“Let me tell you, without education, you won’t have a President who is learned to know what is happening in America and elsewhere. So if we want to transform this country, it is education that will build it”, the NAPPS President stated.

She noted that foreigners no longer want to come and study in Nigeria “because the quality of the human capacity has reduced drastically.

She said such constraints was also telling on the quality of universities,especially in a situation where funding has also depleted.

“The quality of our funding has reduced. So there is brain drain, the good lecturers that should stay to teach are floating out and taking up other nations,” the proprietress stated.

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