The National Association of Private School Teachers (NAPST) has urged the Nigerian government to provide its members interest-free loans repayable gradually from when schools resume.
The association said this is to cushion the effect of COVID-19 on private school teachers in the country.
NAPST, which is the umbrella body and voice of private school teachers in the country, said many of its members have turned to beggars for not being paid since the closure of schools over four months ago.
The National President of the association, Akhigbe Augustine, made the plea in Abuja on Tuesday, Following the outbreak of COVID 19, schools were shut throughout Nigeria on March 19, leaving school authorities to adopt alternative modes of learning for students.
The shutdown has been most felt by private school owners who are unable to pay salaries of teachers and other sundry bills.
Mr Augustine said skilled teachers with experience may be forced to dump the profession, which will, in turn, affect the quality of education in Nigeria, if nothing is done quickly to address the problem at hand.
He said teachers want the school to be re-opened because they are ready to enforce all safety measures required.
He said NAPST appreciates the single-digit loans approved by the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria’s N5Obillion COVID-19 intervention funds but lamented that school owners will not like to access loans. to pay salaries, hence the suffering of many private school teachers.
“But the best way to help the private school teacher is by directly paying into their accounts,” he said.
He said NAPST has a reliable database and the network to reach out to its members as soon as possible.
“We are willing to provide the collated data of our members and their account details to help make the financial support directly to them possible to save their families from starvation to death. Many are dying of hunger as we speak, while many have turned beggars,” he said.
He appealed to the government for immediate palliatives and a monthly stipend for the time being until the schools resume.
“This support will go a long way to save our lives, our jobs and the futures of millions of Nigerian children in private schools,” he said.
He said many private school teachers were last paid in February.
“The closure of schools for the whole of third term of 2019/2020 academic session means no tuition payment and obviously salaries for the months running will not be paid also,”he said.
CBN Facility loan
The Federal Government in March through the CBN and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning announced some monetary and fiscal measures to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy, Nigerian businesses, schools and households.
The apex bank introduced the N50 billion Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) as a stimulus package to support households and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) affected by the coronavirus pandemic
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