In Lagos alone, there are over 15,000 private schools operating to provide education to millions of students. And most of these schools are beyond the radar of government. So the onus falls on the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools, NAPPS, to ensure standards. NAPPS, Badagry Area of Lagos, has patrons and matrons. They are Mr. I.B. Akintola, Proprietor, Meritland Group of Schools and Pastor Mrs. Ajukwu, Proprietress, Mike Davis Group of Schools. The chapter, a new one, emerged as a result of the disagreement over a past election process. The tenure which started in 2013 and ended in February 2015 was extended due to what members say is the excellent performance of the first administration. In this interview with Richard Dibie and Ganiyu Tijani, the duo of Hon. Obikoya James and Mr. Yaya Babawale, Director of Studies Jameson Model Schools, Ishoga Kebbi, Badagry, Lagos/Chairman NAPPS Badagry Area and Secretary, NAPPS Badagry Area respectively, share insight into the strides and challenges of the body.
WHAT is the relevance of NAPPS to private school management in Nigeria?
NAPPS which is National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools ensuresthe smooth running of private schools. At the national and state levels, the Presidentis the head, the chapter and ward levels are headed by the chairperson.
It became necessary to form NAPPS as a result of the lapses observed in the running of private schools. It was formerly called APPS (Association of Proprietors of Private Schools). As we grew in number, we changed the acronym to NAPPS and it was formally registered by Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). Thefirst president in the national level was Alhaji Yinawa.
So what impact have you made in your own capacity as a ward chairman?
I contributed into empowering the body. I organized seminars and symposiums among us to meet up with the 21st century educational system. I also organized sports competitions among schools and partnered with the government to ensure good co-operative system.
Certainly there are challenges, what are they?
Some of our challenges are inability of the parents to pay the school fees of their wards at the right time. You have to do a lot in order to collect school fees due to delay in payment and this sometimes affects activities. Also, in this area there are many government schools and most parents prefer sending their wards to public schools.
How do you fund NAPPS?
We fund it by periodic levy payments in order to carry out basic activities.
Do you get any support from government?
None for now, we asked for assistance in the past, we didn’t get, even for the fact that we, in this area are into Agriculture, we expected the government to assist, still, they have not.
What is your appeal to the government?
In this environment where we have 10 to 20 private schools, we need the assistanceof the government to make the schools grow faster, especially the starters. Most of our graduates today are employed by private schools, if government fails to assist where necessary, who will fill the vacuum.