Private school owners urge govts. to keep schools open


By Oluwakemi Oladipo

Lagos, Jan. 14, 2021 National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) has urged both Federal and state governments to keep schools open and enforce compliance with COVID-19 protocols, to save lives and livelihood.

Its president, Mr Yomi Otubela made the call at a virtual press briefing on Thursday in Lagos in respect of Federal Government’s proposed review of resumption date for schools.

Otubela said that the association appreciated the concern and support of the Federal Government to keep schools safe of the Coronavirus but was bothered that after the review, it could keep the schools closed.

“Schools provide a safe environment for vulnerable children whose parents are frontliners in the fight against COVID-19.

“In a city like Lagos where parents are always out of the home, schools come to the rescue to keep these children safe.

“We are also calling on parents to own the fight against the spread of COVID-19 through Parents Teachers Association (PTA).

“PTA should form COVID-19 Compliance Officers among parents that will rotate visitation to schools on regular basis for compliance,” he said.

Otubela said that schools had been at the forefront of support for strict adherence to the COVID-19 safety protocols as recommended by the Presidential Task Force and Nigeria Center for Disease Control.

“This assertion can be supported by clean bills of health received by various schools’ management during the earlier visits of government’s monitoring teams on COVID- 19 safety protocols to schools in the country,” he said.

Otubela called on the government to enforce lesser hours at work for workers, so as to allow them to return home on time to attend to their children.

“Also, given the increase in crime and social vices among the youth and teenagers, governments should implement all non-pharmaceutical COVID-19 protocols in schools rather than close schools.

“Private schools cannot afford another prolonged closure of schools to prevent the total collapse of private education sub-sector.

“We are suggesting staggered reopening of schools where some students attend schools in the morning and others in the afternoon, especially for public schools,” he said.

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