The National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) has assured the Federal Government of the readiness of private schools under its fold to resume for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) and other terminal examinations.
The association’s clamour for resumption follows the withdrawal of Nigeria’s participation in the sub-regional examination by the Federal Government over safety reasons Wednesday last week.
National President of the association, Chief Yomi Otubela said at a press conference held virtually on Monday that the group had prepared its members for resumption in line with the protocols set by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
He said: “I can vouch for our members that have gone through safety measure in their schools. We are over 100 per cent ready for transitional classes to resume.
“NAPPS, as a responsive and responsible association, has shown its readiness to ensure the safe phased reopening of schools for SS3 and SS3 students in private schools in the country by ensuring member schools strictly adhere to the safety protocols recommended by the NCDC to prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) within the school environment.
“Even though we appreciate the safety concerns of the Federal Government, private schools are fully prepared for safe reopening of schools with investment already made to procure safety equipment as advised by the NCDC to ensure the safe reopening of schools nationwide.”
To prepare, Yomi said member schools had made provision for handwashing, infrared thermometers, sickbay, hand sanitizers, and face masks for workers. He added that relevant workers had been trained on how to manage the children to avoid the spread of the pandemic; seating arrangement adjusted to allow for two-metre distance between the children, and schools decontaminated.
Yomi also called on the Federal and State governments to release funds to ministries of education equip public schools with necessary facilities so their candidates could take the examination with their private school counterparts.
Lamenting the suspension of the WASSCE, the NAPPS President, who is also the Proprietor of Lagooz Schools, Agege, said it would cause emotional trauma for the affected SS3 pupils who have been preparing for the examination and may cause them to lose interest in education.
He also said parents were beginning to demand a refund of examination fees from schools since the news became public.
Since only terminal classes would be resuming initially, Yomi said there would be enough room for physical distancing.
He also said the government should set up a task force to monitor that schools comply with safety requirements in schools.
The NAPPS President thanked the Federal Government for including private schools in the N2.3 trillion stimulus loans for businesses affected by the pandemic and pledge to provide them with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).