Private Schools Call for More Incentives to Cushion Effects of COVID-19
Private schools in Oyo State have called on both the State and Federal Governments to put in place more palliatives to mitigate the harsh effects of COVID-19 pandemic on their income.
Chairman’, Association of Model Islamic Schools, AMIS, Oyo State Chapter, Alhaji Lawal Abass stated this in Ibadan at a news conference to herald the annual conference of the Association holding at Islamic Centre, University of Ibadan Central Mosque.
He said majority of proprietors of private schools had not benefited from government’s incentives as some schools were yet to come out of the loss incurred during the early days of COVID-19 pandemic, which destroyed the academic activities.
“We have a lot of requests from government. We lost a term of almost 4 months, many teachers could not get full salaries as some did not get any at all. Expectedly, government should have come to our aid to alleviate our sufferings”.
Alhaji Abass said the state government needed to extend the 35 percent deduction from the annual payment till next year to enable those who had paid earlier to benefit as majority of schools had effected payments before the announcement.
“The biting effects of COVID-19 started last year March and most schools normally paid between January and February and government asked that the duration of the payment should not exceed November. We are now appealing to the government to look at those that had paid but had not enjoyed the incentives and give them more time to also benefit”.
The AMIS Chairman explained that the quantity of the foodstuffs provided by the State government for teachers as palliative was so small that it would be extremely difficult to go round the teachers .
“A month ago, some foodstuffs were given for distribution to teachers but the quantity was small and if the foods were to be shared among all teachers in private schools, each would not have up to a cup of the foodstuff”.
Alhaji Abass said schools were looking inwards as directed by the State government to beef up security to enhance safety of teachers and students.
“We are ensuring our schools are enclosed so that we know anyone that comes in and goes out. We also have the phone numbers of security agents in case of emergencies and above all, we are praying that kidnapping and other criminal acts in schools in some part of Northern States will not spread to this part of the country”.
He noted that few schools benefitted from the survival fund of N90,000 for ten teachers introduced by the Federal Government and such gesture should be extended to other schools.
Also speaking, Chairman, Ibadan City Conference Planning Committee for Oyo AMIS Annual Conference, Barrister Akinwale Akinlabi said the programme which will hold between 2nd and 4th April would have in attendance 465 registered delegates comprising 349 school owners, 47 head teachers and 69 teachers.
“Highlights of the Ibadan City 2021 Conference include 13 sessions featuring 17 distinguished speakers. Out of the 13 sessions, 12 are plenary and the remaining one is the opening session.
Barrister Akinlabi explained that 17 speakers would do justice to the theme of the Conference “Vision, Creativity and Transformation: Moving our Schools from Good to Great” and they ncluded Dean, Faculty of Arts, University of Ibadan, Professor Afeez Oladosu, eminent personalities and seasoned professionals.
He said one of the hallmarks of the conference would be the conferment of merit awards of meritorious contributions to Muslim education on the wife of Oyo State Deputy Governor, Professor Amudalat Olaniyan, Engr Idris Adeoye of HMF Construction and CEO, Vanguard Pharmacy, Pharmacist Taofeeq Odukoya.
Also, in attendance at the News conference is the incoming Chairman, AMIS, Oyo State, Alhaji Tohir Ahmad.