The Minister of State for Education, Mr. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, said that private school owners are entitled to charge fees for the third term as schools start resuming for exit classes.
Nwajiuba said this at the media briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic on Monday in Abuja.
He was reacting to a question on if it was proper for private schools to charge third term fees since the period the exiting students would spend in school was short.
The minister said that private school owners were running a business venture and not a charity organization.
He added that “for public institutions, we can’t tell you that we charge school fees, as most of our schools are free. Public schools are free and vary from state to state.
“But when you go into a contractual relationship with a school owner, a school owner is a passionate person but is also a business person. He or she is not running a charity organisation, they may be charitable in their approach, but it’s not charity.
“So, it’s important that you appreciate that a private school is entitled to charge fees for the work they do. The person that runs a school maybe passionate about education but will still charge fees.”
Nwajiuba said that “once the WAEC examination starts on Aug. 17, it will run till the middle of September, and NABTEB will start immediately and run till October.”
He said “NECO examination will start on Oct. 10, about a week to the end of NABTEB and run through to November.
“We expect that throughout the period, students are working and learning.
“We don’t just want them to be in school and be playing, this is exit class, it says a lot about the six years spent in secondary school.
“Right now, we are lifting the registration for NABTEB and NECO, continuously running, even while we are about to begin WAEC.
‘”All examinations are a test of outcomes. We will want our teachers to continuously engage the students,” he said.
Nwajiuba emphasized that schools resumption was for exit classes at the moment, adding that some schools had even opened on Monday, Aug. 3.
He said, “I monitored developments in Lagos State, where some schools opened and cleaned the classes and the environment, while some other states will open as the week proceeds.”