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COVID-19: Private School Owners In Delta Appeal To Govt For Palliatives

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Chairman, National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), Delta State Wing, Deacon Monday Ifoghere.

-Say Retrenchment Of Staff Looms Without DTSG’s Support
By Daniel Dafe
Private school owners under the aegis of National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), Delta State Wing, have appealed to the State Government to consider them for palliatives in order to cushion the effect of the lockdown order by the Okowa-led administration to curb the spread of the Coronavirus disease (COVID) in the state.
Arising from an online meeting yesterday, April 21, 2020, executive members of NAPPS in a press statement made available to Oasis Magazine (OM) and signed by the State Chairman, Deacon Monday Ifoghere, said that “the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown cannot be quantified as it has had a debilitating impact on private schools operators particularly members of NAPPS.”
The group said: “The current situation has not only affected NAPPS members but their families and those who depend on them for a living. Contrary to public opinion that school operators are wealthy, quite a number of our members could not even pay March salary not to talk of paying April salary because of the abrupt end of the term.
“Unless the state government comes out with palliatives to help private schools survive the lockdown and post COVID-19, the possibility of retrenchment is inevitable as we may have to reduce staff strength to be able to cope.
“We know as a fact that we will be resuming school with learners whose parents faced the difficulty of survival or whose parents are out of jobs because of the COVID-19 lockdown.”
The statement continued: “Those are the issues we foresee and we will need a level of wisdom and restraint to be able to manage the atmosphere when school resumes and how we will continue to pay workers salaries if we are out of this lockdown.”
The areas they want the state government to assist them in include: Provision of grants to all registered schools to enable them pay salaries of their staff; loans at single interest rates and one year moratorium for interested schools from the state government and tax/license renewal holiday for a period of 1 year to enable proprietors focus mainly on managing their meager resources in resuscitating their schools.
Also, they called on the government to shift the cognitive placement and BECE exams to July, adding that this will help proprietors prepare their learners adequately.
Furthermore, they assured Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of their continued support of his administration, saying that he has shown “sterling leadership qualities since his assumption of office.”

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