26 C
New York
Monday, June 24, 2024

Private Schools in Edo Threaten to Boycott Resumption, Cite Obaseki’s Unfriendly Policies

Must read

BENIN CITY, Nigeria — Private school owners in Edo State, organized under the Coalition of Private Schools, have announced their intention to boycott the September 11 school resumption date, citing alleged harsh and unfriendly policies by the state government.

During a press conference in Benin on Monday, September 4, 2023, the coalition lamented that all efforts to reach Governor Godwin Obaseki to discuss their grievances have been unfruitful.

“We now find ourselves at a breaking point,” said Dr. Lemmy Russel, the State Chairman of the National Association of Proprietors Of Private Schools, NAPPS.

The coalition is a body comprising the Association for Formidable Educational Development, AFED, the Association of Private Schools Owners of Nigeria, APSON, and NAPPS.

Speaking on behalf of the group, Dr. Russel argued that private school owners were facing overwhelming financial burdens.

“We are overtaxed by the Federal Inland Revenue with Corporate Tax, not to mention the Personal Income Tax and annual renewal fees by the state government,” Russel said.

He added that the schools were additionally beleaguered by various officials who claim to be government agents, collecting a myriad of fees.

Russel also criticized the recent facility check survey by the Directorate of Quality Assurance in the state as “impromptu and hasty.”

He expressed disappointment that association leaders were not consulted as previously agreed in stakeholders’ meetings.

The coalition called the state government’s decision to seal off defaulting schools as aggravating the already precarious issue of out-of-school children and unemployment in a country already struggling with poverty.

“We, therefore, appeal for a stakeholders’ meeting of the three association leaders to have a dialogue to address the many plights of private schools in Edo State,” Russel stated.

He proposed the creation of a committee consisting of association leaders, ministry of education representatives, and other critical stakeholders in education to review policy checklists and deliberate on their implementation.

Among their demands, the coalition wants the government to either scrap the annual renewal fee or consolidate all fees into a single tax bill.

“Fund/Loan should be made available to private schools at very low interest rates with a period of at least five years to pay back,” Russel added.

Russel warned that if their appeals go unheeded, they are prepared to stage peaceful protests to demand action.

While he commended the state’s educational reforms, including establishing a directorate of quality assurance, he disassociated the coalition from a viral video that maligned some state officials.

As parents and schools prepare for the new academic year, the coalition’s threat to boycott the resumption puts additional pressure on a state government already grappling with challenges in the education sector.

The standoff also puts the future of thousands of students in limbo, adding urgency to a situation demanding immediate attention.

More articles

- Advertisement -The Fast Track to Earning Income as a Publisher
- Advertisement -The Fast Track to Earning Income as a Publisher
- Advertisement -Top 20 Blogs Lifestyle

Latest article