Teachers are the worst hit in this pandemic and lock down. When I say teachers, I mean private school teachers. My sentiment is based on the fact that they have been unfairly treated and government have been mute for a long time.
When the index case of covid-19 was announced in March 2020, education sector was the first to be shut down. This is a good decision to nip in the bud the spread of this disease among students. Up until now, schools across the country are still under lock and key with no sign of imminent reopening. School owners, teachers and indirect associates are rueing the adverse effect this pandemic is dishing out. Indirect publics of school like publishers and bookshops are counting their losses already because the student they are supposed to render services to are at home.
Another set of people who are feeling the pain of the moment are school owners and proprietors. Most schools have resorted to remote classroom to engage students in their various homes. At first, the intention was to keep learners busy but with the lingering on of the pandemic parents were asked to pay for these online services to enable teachers get a token for their efforts. The responses on the part of parents have not been encouraging. consequently, teachers were not paid at all while the lucky ones get half of their basic salary or even less.
In my opinion, private school teachers are the worst hit, while their counterpart in the public sector have been been receiving their salaries unabated, private school teachers have left unattended to. This underlines the fact that government care less about citizens who work in the private sector. This is evident in some parochial government policies. Little wonder most teachers crave to work in public schools.
Be that as it may, Federal government has given directives to school owners to approach CBN for intervention fund so as to enable them pay staff salaries. It seems ideal on paper but the bureaucratic bottlenecks of government institution makes it nearly impossible to access. I stand to be corrected, many school owners may be disinclined to apply for this loan because they have to pay back at one point with interest.
While it is easy to dump all the blames at the door step of government, National Associations of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) , the umbrella body of private school left it too late before they start speaking for their members especially in this pandemic. They need to speak with one voice for government to be aware of their plight.
We cannot all work in public parastatals and no citizen should be treated as second class. Government should know that we are all citizens of of Nigeria and we have the right to be treated so. while there are other sectors and individuals suffering the same fate, government prompt response to all citizens in times of crisis will be appreciated going forward.
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