FG fulfillled barely 2% of its promises — NAPPS
Billions lost in income, salaries
By Adesina Wahab
VARIOUS stakehoders in the education sector in the country have said year 2020 was not good to the sector, saying it negatively affected the fortunes of education in Nigeria.
Some of them even prayed that the nation should not experience such a year again going by the devastating effects of happenings in the year on education in the country..
The stakehoders, who spoke to Vanguard, listed the outbreak of Coronavirus disease in the country, kidnap of students, industrial actions by trade groups in the sector among others as factors that made 2020 memorable in a negative way.
It was also found out that billions of naira was lost in income by private school owners, while government also paid teachers in its employ billions of naira in salaries while schools were shut down and when little teaching and learning went on.
We were hard hit — School owners
School owners in the country, under the aegis of the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools, NAPPS, said the year was bad for business for them.
Speaking through the National President, Otunba Yomi Otubela, he said the year started with hope and the inspiration to do great things before Coronavirus disease struck.
“As usual, at the beginning of the year, some of our members were planning to hold inter-house sports events, some had paid for souvenirs, stadia to use among others. Even we planned to hold our annual conference in Kaduna in March and flights had been booked, hotel reservations made, conference materials paid for and suddenly the first case of Coronavirus was recorded in late February. Subsequently, everything was put on hold and most of the funds already committed yet to be recovered and we are yet to know how to hold the conference.
“At government level, in Lagos State for instance, the government kicked off its Eko Excel project for teachers, the closure of schools did not allow the teachers and students enjoy the programme as they would loved to during the year. Parents lost jobs and income and that translated to our members being owed huge sums of money that I cannot quantify now.
“The Federal Government promised to assist school owners and our teachers during the lockdown period. For the teachers, they promised to pay N30,000 stipend to 10 teachers per school for three months, as we talk, the few lucky ones that got the money only got for two months. The government fulfilled less than 2 percent of what it promised us.
“What is annoying about the situation is that there is no channel to get back to the government. No engagement from the side of the government, no one to hold responsible and that sows hopelessness into the system,” he said.
We don’t pray for such a year again —NUT
The Lagos State Chairman of the Nigeria Union or Teachers, NUT, Otunba Adesina Adedoyin, said the year was turbulent and prayed that the nation should not experience such a year again.
“It was a year full of hardship for many people and it effects on education were negative. It also posed serious health challenges and deaths in great numbers. The academic calendar was disrupted. Students were at home for months and the nation witnessed an increase in the number of out-of-school children.
“Teachers in private schools were badly hit. Those in public schools too did not enjoy being idle. They missed their classrooms. The virtual learning that was embarked upon could not adequately fill the gap. How many parents were able to buy smart phones for their children? Even when you have the smart phone, what about the cost of data and the unpredictable services by service providers? The year had bad effects on education in Nigeria,” he said.
It was horrible and terrible
The National President of the National Parent Teacher Association of Nigeria, NAPTAN, Haruna Danjuma, noted that the year 2020 was horrible and terrible as far as the education sector was concerned in Nigeria.
“It brought a lot of setback to education and the nation’s development because anything that affects education affects the development of the country. We had Coronavirus outbreak which led to schools being shut down. We had strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, and we had the abduction of students too.
“But the year is gone. Have we learnt any lesson? As we speak now, the agreement between the government and ASUU that led to the suspension of the strike is on the brink of collapse. Government is yet to implement its own side of the bargain. We should not allow a repeat of such a terrible situation,” he opined.
Bad, but we can rediscover ourselves—NANS
The South-West Coordinator of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, Kappo Olawale Samuel, said the year witnessed the disruption of academic calendar, closure of schools among others, but that it was also a period for some positive things.
“It was also a year for rediscovering ourselves. It was a year for learning and relearning. It was a unique year and one that could be the best for anyone who took his chances. I want us to look at the positive side too and see what we can make use of as individuals and society,” he stated.