Private school owners in Nigeria clashed at a meeting with the Minister of Education, Mr. Adamu Adamu on Thursday in Abuja over crisis of identity.
On Thursday meeting was conveyed at the instance of the Minister of Education to foster partnership and intervene on areas of needs of school owners under the shadow of the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic.
National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) was led by its President, Chief Yomi Otubela, while the Association of Private Schools Owners of Nigeria (APSON) which was incorporated
in March 1995, making it the foremost Registered body of Private School Owners in Nigeria, was led by its President, Bishop Godly Opukeme.
According to Tribune, the leaders of the group, had opted a separate meeting with the Minister at the Ministry of Education conference room, but, some Officials in the Ministry insisted that the groups should be treated as a whole hence the need to meet together
Soon after the meeting began, tempers were allegedly flared when the President of NAPPS, Mr. Otubela took a swipe as the President of APSON, Bishop Opukeme, describing the rival association as a break away faction.
The verbal attack, propelled Bishop Opukeme to retaliate the vitriolic attack with superior argument before the Minister who temporarily suspended the session over a shouting match between the leaders of the two groups and requested the leaders of the bodies to meet with him privately in his office.
Earlier in a remark, the National President of NAPPS, Mr. Yomi Otubela, announced the determination of the Association to remove about 1.2 million out-of-school children from the streets in the Country in the next three years.
He said: “While applauding your efforts to increase access to school in the face of a worrisome situation where the rate of out-of-school in the country is as high as 10.5 million, we rose from NEC meeting with a strong decision to partner your office in proffering solution.
“Therefore, it is the unanimous decision of the national executive of NAPPS that each of about 40,000 proprietors in NAPPS shall oblige to award scholarships to a target 10 indigent children per year for a consecutive three years,” he said.
He commended the Federal Government for the recent approval of a special salary scale and new retirement age for teachers during the commemoration of the 2020 World Teachers’ Day.
On his part, President of APSON, Bishop Godly Opukeme, appealed to the Federal Government to address the challenge of multiple taxations, he noted has paced heavy burden on the school owners.
He added that the recent disengagement of N-Power beneficiaries by the Federal Government “as it concerns a quantum of ad-hoc teachers who were assigned to drive innovation for teaching and learning process in basic schools is a major crisis that should bother every Nigerian”.
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