EMMANUEL AWARI, Jalingo
The National President, National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools NAPPS, Dr. Sally Adukwu Bolujoko, has expressed concern on the high number of out-of- school children in the country.She expressed her concern in Jalingo, the Taraba State capital, during this year’s NAPPS Day Celebration.
The NAPPS National President, represented by the State Chairman of the Association, Nehemiah John, said: ” Nigeria still ranks high with 10.3 million out -of- school children, while the Teacher/ Pupil ratio in our public primary Schools remained low with one Teacher to 46 pupils, whereas 273,000 Teachers are required for 20,000 public Secondary Schools nationwide to force the ratio down to one teacher to 20 students”
“Nigerian Teachers remain the least motivated with some states owing up to 10 months salaries”, she lamented.
According to her, the hallmark of good educational system is predicated upon the development of character, knowledge, skills, critical thinking capacity and abilities to meet the demands of the society.
“A higher percentage of school children are now under our care and we can no longer wait for an overwhelmed government to lead”, she said, pointing out that the government has onerous task of re- examining the system with the view to addressing the many defects.
“It is not too late to declare the state of emergency in the sector as muted by President Mohammadu Buhari during his first term in office.
“The Government should convoke all Stakeholders’ Conference where we shall take collective responsibility to revamp the system by raising and addressing issues such as, poor and inadequate infrastructure in schools; corruption and mismanagement of resources in the sector; examination malpractice and related issues; insecurity in schools, among others”, NAPPS President stated.
In his remarks, the immediate past Zonal President of the Association, Jibriilla Aliyu, said Private Schools could be found providing education for the Nigerian people.
“We are grateful for the advent of private schools in our midst today, because many Nigerians that would have been unemployed in our streets, are now gainfully employed by Private Schools. Through the Private Schools, therefore, we are helping to provide daily bread and other daily needs like good shelter, drugs among others for many homes”, Aliyu said.
He pointed out that Private Schools have also become a major source of national income earnings through income taxes and tenement rates, adding that Proprietors of Private Schools and the diverse employees all pay taxes to government treasuries, thereby becoming a major revenue industry for National development and growth.
“Through dedication and hard work, Private Schools are now regular source of income for Federal, State and Local Government Areas. It is on record that out of the total number of students who gain admission every year into Universities in Nigeria, more than 65 per cent are from Private Schools.
” It is this realization that has resulted our Governors, Ministers, Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries, Directors of Industries and Business Moguls to send their children to Private Schools all over the country”, Aliyu stated.
He disclosed that NAPPS has become a formidable tool for the fostering National Unity , adding that the advent of Private Schools in Nigeria has now resulted in forging of a greater national bond of oneness and brotherhood among Nigerians.
Also in his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Elder Samson Ada, represented by the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, Peter Toshi, assured NAPPS of the Ministry’s support towards giving quality education to children in the state.
He described the Association as partners in progress, adding that the Ministry will work with them to fish out illegal schools in the state.
He disclosed that the Ministry of Education would start issuing certificates to registered, recommended and best structures.
Speaking , State Chairman of the Association, Nehemiah John, said the nagging problem of out of school children can easily be resolved with the effective Government – Proprietors partnership.
“Corruption and examination malpractice fever will soon be a thing of the past, only if the spirit of resilience, determination, creativity and perseverance of Proprietors are taking into account”, he pointed out.
He assured members that the new exco under his leadership will be committed to seeking their welfare, adding that it has opened a Cooperative Society (The NAPPS Taraba Multipurpose Cooperative Society), designed to address the challenges of members and to encourage collective and inclusive savings of resources.
He called on the Federal Government to declare the 12th October every year as public holiday in honour of great contributions to human and national development.
He thanked Governor Darius Ishaku for creating an enabling environment for schools to operate through the Ministry of Education under the leadership of a Technocrat.
“I want to call on the government to take advantage of the great potentials of our Proprietors to find solutions to our societal problems”, he said.
According to him, the association has set aside the 12th October every year to appreciate, project achievements and contributions of Private Schools to National development.
The event featured presentation of a paper entitled: “The Relevance of Education in Tackling the Socio-economic Challenges of Nigeria’’ by Dr. Amuche Chris and match past by various schools.
For a better society.