By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie
The National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) has urged the Federal Government not to keep schools closed beyond January 17.
The group headlined its campaign to reopen schools from January 18 with the #keepschoolsopen during a virtual press conference held Thursday.
Reacting to news that the government may review the January 18 resumption date for the second term of the 2020/2021 session, because of a surge in COVID-19 cases in Nigeria the group said schools should be allowed to open because many were successfully able to maintain COVID-19 protocols last term.
Speaking for the group, its National President, Chief Yomi Otubela said the government should focus on ensuring schools enforce COVID-19 protocols when they resume.
He argued that any further extension of the resumption date would spell disaster for private schools and hamper children’s development according to UNICEF, saying:
“Private Schools cannot afford another prolonged closure of schools to prevent the total collapse of private education sub-sector.
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“Recent pronouncement of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) (notes) that schools are not drivers of Covid-19 pandemic while noting that closure of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic will impact negatively on the development, safety and mental wellbeing of children globally.”
To check the spread of the virus when schools resume, Otubela said staggered classes, reduced hours, remote learning and other non-pharmaceutical measures should continue.
He also charged parents to support compliance in schools by monitoring what they do.
“We also call on parents to own the fight against the spread of Covid-19 through Parents Teachers Association( PTA). PTA should form Covid-19 Compliance officers among parents that will rotate visitation to schools on regular basis for compliance,” he said.