COVID-19: Muslim students seek govt’s palliatives for private schools

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By Florence Onuegbu
Lagos, Aug. 18, 2020 The Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Lagos State Area Unit, has called on the government to assist private schools with palliatives to cushion the effect of COVID-19.

The Amir (President) of MSSN, Lagos State Area Unit, Miftahudeen Thanni, made the call during a news Conference on Tuesday in Ikeja.

Thanni said that such palliative had been done in other sectors, hence, the education sector should not be exempted.

”We also appeal to the government across all levels to assist private schools with palliatives. This will help to cushion the effect of COVID-19 on the schools and their teachers.

”This has been done in other sectors and education should not be left out. We are scared that there may be a massive job loss in many private schools with COVID-19 not likely to go away anytime soon.

”We also appeal to both teachers and schools management to show common understanding and be compassionate,” he said.

According to him, the education sector, which is the primary constituency of MSSN, needs more funding.

”While we acknowledge the government’s efforts in ensuring development in the education sector, there are obvious and unpardonable lapses.

”This gangrene speaks for itself and affects the entire educational chain – primary, secondary and tertiary.

”The poor funding of education in the country is having a negative effect on output across all levels,” Thanni said.

He said that the government must understand that massive investment in education was a guarantee for achievements in economic development and the well-being of the citizens.

The president appealed to the private sector and philanthropists to complement public spending on education.

He said that Nigeria needed to learn correctly from other nations that had got it right in their education sector and be consistent with its educational policies.

Thanni also said that the controversy surrounding the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) was saddening and weakens hope in the reformation of the education sector.

According to him, if not for the coronavirus pandemic, universities in the country will currently be on strike.

”The IPPIS in our view would help to fight ghost workers and reduce personnel cost, which is laudable. But ASUU opposed it vehemently, arguing that it would affect university autonomy.

”We will not like to join the blame game. We implore both ASUU and the FG to reach a consensus on this. It will be unfair for this resolvable difference to affect the resumption of millions of Nigerian students,” he said.