By Joan Odafe
The National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) says the implementation of COVID-19 safety guidelines increased schools’ overhead cost in 2020/2021 session by an average of N3 million to N4 million.
Mrs Ajoke Adeyemi, Chairman of its Amuwo Odofin Chapter, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Lagos.
Adeyemi, Proprietress of Foresight Schools, Festac Town said that school owners had to overhaul their facilities to meet up with the COVID-19 prevention standards.
She said that schools also had to pay for additional services like fumigation and acquire gadgets like touchless handwashing bowls, sanitiser dispensers, infrared thermometers, liquid soaps and buckets.
“We had to expand classrooms to meet up with social distancing and with that came the need to employ more teachers.
“More teachers meant more salaries to pay. The overhead is more than we used to have.
“It has been so serious and, averagely, I think a school will add between three million and four million naira to their overhead, on termly basis, at this particular time to meet up,” she said.
The proprietress said that many parents’ finances were affected during the COVID-19 lockdown and some had not fully recovered, making it difficult for school fees to be paid when due.
Adeyemi, however, said the schools in Amuwo Odofin were able to surmount the challenge with the support of a loan scheme offered to them by First Bank Plc.
“It’s a stress-free loan that they give us and we try not to abuse the privilege, especially with the branches in Festac Town.
“They’ve been giving us loans at reduced rates under the First Education Scheme,”she said.
She said that schools’ management had already started preparing for 2021/2022 academic session and would adhere to any further guidelines given to NAPPS.
Adeyemi urged Nigerians to observe the COVID-19 safety protocols, especially in the face of the Delta variant and increase in new cases. (NAN)