By Adedapo Adesanya
A joint committee of Private and Voluntary Schools Associations in Kano State has rejected the 25 per cent reduction of third term school fees in the state.
Business Post had earlier reported that the Kano State Ministry of Education directed owners of private schools to henceforth reduce the third term fees by 25 per cent to help parents deal with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
However, the group expressed worry over the method deployed by the government on the compulsory implementation of the reduction despite the demand for further clarification and justification of the 25 per cent discount requested by the proprietors.
It, equally, used the opportunity to dissociate itself from claims that it had accepted the proposed cut.
Their grouse was made known in a statement released by the joint committee made up of the leadership of Association of Model Islamic Schools (AMIS) represented by Mr Basheer Adamu Aliyu, National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) through Alhaji Muhammad Mallam Adamu and Mrs Fatima Bello for the Independent School Proprietors Association, Kano (ISPAK).
The collective wondered why private school owners would be compelled to bear the brunt of the economic hardship when their members were never considered for any financial assistance or palliative either from the state or Federal Government throughout the seven months lockdown.
According to the statement, “Unfortunately, the Ministry of Education, Kano State made a press release that the government will not reverse its decision of cancelling the third term if the majority of the proprietors refused to comply with the directive on the fees’ reduction.
“As we were meeting on the issue, we were bombarded by another announcement purportedly from the Ministry, claiming that proprietors have agreed to a 25 per cent discount on school fees. We note with concern, the unilateral action by representatives of APSON, who until yesterday were with us in all our meetings and decisions.
“However, we wish to observe that Hajia Maryam Magaji, the National Vice- President of APSON is an employee of the government under SUBEB. In the same vein, Murtala Hussain, the state Vice-Chairman is an Assistant Director with the Kano State Private and Voluntary Institutions Board.
“It is, therefore, surprising that employees of the Ministry of Education are coming out to speak on behalf of the proprietors of private schools.”
While noting the huge negative impact of the seven months’ shutdown and reiterating that any cancellation will only worsen an already bad situation; if there is an overriding public interest, we are ready to cooperate with and support the government,” the statement noted.
As at press time, it is not clear what the Kano State government will do now although the state’s Commissioner for Education, Mr Sanusi Kiru said the ministry would consider the cancellation of the Third Term session if the school proprietors remained adamant to reduce the fees.
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