Story By: Oregbemi Olumide
Scheduled for three days in Lagos State, starting on Thursday, 27th September, National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), will observe NAPPS’ Day with cultural celebration.
Being a move to identify with the Lagos State initiative for cultural enhancement, participating members of the association will dress in traditional attire to give the celebration a colourful effect.
According to the Lagos State President of the association, Alhaji Abdul Wasiu Olaitan Ademadeyin, stated, while addressing journalists, that the main NAPPS’ day is 12th October, 2018.
‘The main day is 12th October. This year’s NAPPS’ day will be a three-day affairs. We are starting on the 27th September at CWC. We are having what we call Cultural Day for NAPPS, where members will dress in different cultural attires. This is also to symbolize Lagos State new edict that says we should enhance the culture’, he said.
As part of day one celebration activities, an official NAPPS online television will be launched. This is in line with propagating NAPPS activities and achievements. On October 12, 20,000 proprietors and teachers will converge at the national stadium to celebrate NAPPS’ day. The event is packaged towards celebrating teachers and their impacts and to prove to government that private school owners are an important sector of the society.
‘This is a day we have set aside to celebrate ourselves and celebrate teachers. You will find out that teachers are not being celebrated in the world over. If teachers are not celebrated by the government, if they are not celebrated by the society, then, they should celebrate themselves. And that is just what we are doing to celebrate ourselves’, he said.
As part of day two activities on Saturday, 13th October, members of the association will visit the orphanage to donate items.
‘On the second day, which is going to be Saturday 13th, October, we also want to visit the orphanage. We are taking a lot of items to the orphanage. We know that since we are proprietors of private schools, all those children in our care are the privileged ones. They are here because they have parents that cater for them. They are here because they have parents that think they should have quality education. But what about those ones that are unfortunate not to be here because they are orphans? We want to put a smile on their faces’, he said.
Alhaji Abdul Wasiu Olaitan Adumadeyin, while explaining, expressed concern about the fast dwindling cultural practices in Nigeria, particularly among students. He therefore emphasized commitment to support the Lagos State government’s effort in sustaining cultural practices by making students in member schools within Lagos State speak vernacular every Wednesday.
‘The Lagos State government found out that students are losing their culture and it’s not good for students to lose their culture. As teachers and proprietors too, we also want to join the fold’, he said.
He further expressed concern about the challenges faced by the association. While narrating their experience, society, government, parents and teachers form the bulk of their challenges. He expressed serious concern about inadequate support from government and demanded more attention and support. He further explained how government of other countries support private school education with reference to Canada.
‘We have numerous challenges. We have challenges from the society, we have from the government, we have from parents, and we even have from teachers that work for us. Government is not giving private education the support that it needs. Although, they are doing some things but we demand more. There are parts of the world that we have seen that they support private school education. I make reference to Canada, where I am privileged to have witnessed. Part of what they do in Canada is that the government pay half of the fees of all private school students. But in Nigeria, we pay all sorts of levies’, he said.
He appealed to government to support private school education by paying one quarter, if paying half of the private school students’ fees is impossible. He also appealed to government to consider students of private school for other benefits students of public schools enjoy.
The association president, Alhaji Abdul Wasiu Olaitan Adumadeyin, appealed to parents for supports and stop thinking that their roles as parents end at paying school fees. He further enjoined parents to support private schools by attending P.T.A. meetings and join hands with proprietors of member schools in bringing out the best in their children.
‘We need parents to support. Parents view us as business people. They do not play their roles to enhance what we do. Some parents think all they need to do is to pay school fees and they have done their roles, the school should do the rest. When you call them for P.T.A. meeting, they feel it’s not necessary since they have paid school fees’, he said.
As part of suggestions to get government’s attention towards the financial needs of private school organizations, Alhaji Abdul Wasiu Olaitan Adumadeyin suggested that government should set up banks to primarily cater for the financial needs of private school organizations through 3% interest on loan facility. He cited government’s financial support as the reason European schools are doing better than schools in Nigeria.
He affirmed that Nigerian students would perform better than their counterparts anywhere else in the world, if given the same opportunities and facilities. He therefore reiterated that NAPPS protects the interest of their members by influencing government’s decision on certain policy.
‘Any school coming under our umbrella will have to benefit so many things. Just like we said, we protect the interest of our members. Recently when the government decided to increase annual due of schools, we went to them and told them the reason why they should not increase annual due and they listened to us. Those are some of those things we do for our members.
Another case is the issue of LASAA, they brought a high bill to our members. We went to discuss with them and told them why we couldn’t pay that high bill. They gave private school schools 33% discount. These are some of those things for our members.
We do seminars to improve the quality of education delivery for our members. Some of these seminars are free. Recently we did or bus drivers. We believe they are not very important and schools emphasize on Mathematics and English teachers. We also assist our members who do not have approval to get approval from the Ministry of Education. When you join NAPPS, your school will not be the same again’, he said.