Threatens to resist extension of resumption of schools beyond January 18
By Chimaobi Nwaiwu – Nnewi
Proprietors of Private Schools in Anambra State, under the aegis of United Independent Proprietors of Private Schools Association of Nigeria, UIPPSA, Anambra State chapter, protested agaist further extension of resumption of schools by both Federal and Anambra State governments, over spread of COVID-19 Pandemic.
The private school proprietors threatened that they will resume their school on Monday January 18, 2021 against any directive by the Federal and Anambra State Governments for them to resume schools on Monday January 26, 2021 or beyond
Chanting solidarity songs during their protest, held at Royal Ambassadors Foundation Schools, Onitsha, the private school proprietors, alleged that they have been repeatedly humiliated, maltreated and denied their rights by both Federal and state governments, noting that they were made to stay at home after the lifting of the lockdown over COVID-19 Pandemic last year, when lockdown on Churches, markets and political and public gatherings were lifted in Nigeria.
In a statement read by the President of UIPPSA, Apostle Akawor Success, titled “Say no to further extension of schools resumption date” the private school proprietors gave reasons for their protest as, “negative effect on the children’s learning skill and intelligence quotient, children’s holistic and cognitive development.
Other reasons they gave for their protest are, that school is not the center of COVID-19, neither is it the center for spreading of the pandemic, or cause of the pandemic, that children who were out of school find safe heaven roaming the markets, streets betting/pool centers and night clubs, thereby making schools and parents loosing grip of them.
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They further alleged that the first phase of COVID-19 lockdown, affected the private schools negatively and therefore, they say no to further extension of resumption date, wondering why the government should close school and allow markets, hotels, airports and offices to function.
“Private school teachers are not paid while staying at home, but government schools teacher are paid lockdown or not, private school owners lost their teachers in the last COVID-19 lockdown because they engaged themselves in trading to take care of their families.”
They further alleged neglect by the government on their welfare, children and family concerns, adding that the rate of immorality increased when the children resumed after six months of staying off school because of COVID-19 Pandemic lockdown, a situation they claimed made some of the school children loosing interest in going back to school.
They argued that since COVID-19 can be prevented through some measures, that such measures should be maintained in schools, while supervisors will visit schools to enforce compliance.
“We have put in place all the necessary COVID-19 preventive measures and protocols, the private school owners were ready to restart schools on 4th of January before the 18th January 2021 extension was announced, any extension of resumption date after Monday 18th January 2020 amounts to putting private schools out of existence because of COVID-19, and we will resist it, we are ready and demand that schools be reopened by the stipulated date of 18th January 2021 any other date beyond that will be resisted by us.”