The National Association of Private School Teachers has appealed to the Nigerian government to provide its members interest-free loans repayable gradually from when schools resume.
While making the appeal on Tuesday July 21, 2020, the National President of the association, Akhigbe Augustine, said the move was to cushion the effect of COVID-19 on private school teachers in the country.
He stated that the members of the association have turned to beggars following the non payment of their salaries since the closure of schools over four months ago.
He noted that the global outbreak of COVID 19 has forced schools to shut down across the country, leaving school authorities to adopt alternative modes of learning for students.
The shutdown has been heavily felt by private school owners who are unable to pay salaries of teachers and other 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 schools to re-open because they are ready to enforce all safety measures required.
He commended the single-digit loans approved by the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria’s N5Obillion COVID-19 intervention funds.
He, however, lamented that school owners will not like to access loans to pay salaries.
“But the best way to help the private school teacher is by directly paying into their accounts,” he said.
He stated that 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.