The National President, National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools, Nigeria (NAPPS),Mr Yomi Otubela has said that the challenge of paucity of funds has been hindering the provision of qualitative education in the country.
Otubela disclosed this at the 14th National Conference of the association in Abuja on Wednesday with the theme: “ Transformation and Innovation in Education:NAPPS-Future Proofing Nigeria Workspace”.
Otubela said that majority of financial institutions were not willing to lend to the educational institutions at concessionary interest rates.
According to him, paucity of funds, therefore, has a lot of impact on school growth and development as standard private school should be well equipped with facilities and aid learning.
“The costs of providing these facilities are so enormous for average private school owners to shoulder without some form of intervention in form of collaboration.
“ Given this challenge, NAPPS, at the national level, has partnered with first bank and FCMB to offer loans to our members at concessionary interest rates.
“We thank God that quite a substantial number of proprietors have keyed into this arrangement with our partner banks to enjoy this opportunity.
“ However. NAPPS at the national level is also committed to growing the NAPPS cooperative society into micro finance bank status where we can be of help to each other,” he said.
Otubela also bemoaned the issue of multiple taxation saying that despite several passionate pleas to the authority to look into it, nothing has been done to review it.
He added that numerous changes in the education policies with their attendant implication for curriculum implementation had been a cause of concern as curriculum implementation was pivotal for the achievement of educational goals.
He, therefore, enjoined policy makers to always carry along various stakeholders in the process of policy planning and implementation.
Also,Mr Yaren Maikawuwa, from the Department of Senior Secondary, Gender Branch, Federal Ministry of Education, said the Federal Government had adopted practical education designed to meet the needs of her citizens in the area of technology and science.
Maikasuwa, who represented the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, said this was helping the citizens to be self reliant and independent with a view to preferring solutions to the challenges.
“The era of do-it-alone is gone in the country. United we stand is the slogan.
“The ministry in her efforts to evolve education that is suitable for the environment has inculcated in its curricula entrepreneurial skills acquisition designed to equip our leaders self employed and employers of labour.
“ Current reforms in education enable the learner to be innovative and producers rather than mere consumers of finished products.
“ Of equal importance is the inclusion of trade subjects in the academic curriculum to equip our young learners with practical skills of developing self actualisation,” he said.
Similarly, Dr Omahachi Oklobia, a lecturer of Public Administration. Nasarawa State University, said there was need for NAPPS to leverage on the emerging opportunities using innovative educational technology solutions.
“Some of the challenges they(NAPPS) face in my view are also opportunities.
“You can sit down and say you have challenges and do nothing about it or see it as an opportunity, work on it and find a way out particularly in the area of technology and innovation,” he said.
Hajia Samira Jibir, Director of Conference, said the conference was designed to enable teachers to be more prepared, focused and be able to deliver to meet the current aspirations and societal needs of the nation.
Also, Mallam Abdulrazak Leramoh, Acting Secretary, FCT Education Secretariat, said there was need to partner private service providers to ensure quality education services are provided to residents of the territory.
Leramoh, who represented the Minister of State for FCT, Dr Ramatu Tijani, said the FCT administration would continue to partner with NAPPS to deliver on the objectives of providing quality service education in the FCT.
“ As we partner together, we will continue to engage with the private school owners and the areas of their challenges are shared with us.
“ And we will continue to assist them so that they can operate in a very smooth environment that will promote learning and teaching,” he said.