Private school owners in Nigeria have listed the palliatives they require as the removal of subsidy is expected to cause disruption in the sector too.
They listed some of the palliatives to include provision of school buses on lease agreement, training of teachers on termly basis, giving of educational grants to teachers and administrators, establishment of educational banks to grant soft loans to teachers, school owners and parents and also giving of tax holiday for teachers and schools.
They said even though all these measures would not totally solve their challenges, they would go a long way for them to remain in business and thrive without them increasing their tuition.
The National President of National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), Yomi Otubela, raised this concern alongside other participants at a virtual dialogue organised on Thursday by the association on the topic: “Government Policies and Resultant Effects on Private School Administration: A Case Study on the Removal of Fuel Subsidy”.
According to participants, the cost of running private schools in the country even before the removal of fuel subsidies was very huge and becoming unbearable for many.
They said, “Now that fuel subsidy has been removed and the costs of goods and services including transportation and running generators and other educational needs have been on the rise, private schools may not have option than to increase tuition fees to remain in business.”
They said it is not that the action of government removing the subsidy is a bad idea but it would be advisable to also come up with palliative measures for a social-service sector as education and private schools in particular, as critical stakeholders in the education ecosystem, to cushion the effect of the action on their operations.
According to them, government would need to factor in their concerns in the ongoing negotiations with the labour unions and other critical stakeholders to lessen their own burden too as it is thinking about others.
“So, it is required that government give special consideration and support to us in this critical time to grow and develop particularly because of our crucial role to human capital and national development.”