By Gabriel Ogunjobi
Whenever the Federal Government reopens schools for physical classes, some challenges are bound to confront private schools
Here are some of them:
1. Salary and tuition fees: Undoubtedly, public and private economies have been hit by weeks of lockdown and limited productivity. But soon as the schools reopen, teachers and other members of staff would be anticipating their wages as succor for the hard times.
On the other hand, private schools too haven’t been making much money, if they have at all through passive virtual classes.
Parents and Guardians are also making less money too, meaning school fees may be hard to balance. The proprietors of such institutions may have to source elsewhere for where to pay to their workers.
2. Retrenchment and restructuring:
If government schools are reluctant to downsize staff, private counterparts would not hesitate to. Some non-essential staff may be asked to take compulsory leave at first instance until their services can be afforded. Their return may even come after all.
Also, in a bid to sustain maximum teaching-learning, school management may ask that some teachers take more than their usual subjects to augment salaries for some relieved teachers.
3. Concerns over COVID-19:
The onus to protect children in these precarious times will depend on caregivers, teachers and the entire members of staff in private schools.
Federal Government will also be reopening schools under strict compliance to certain COVID-19 guidelines like social distancing, sanitation, transport system and use of face masks.
These are only necessary to ensure that schoolchildren are not only put in harm’s way but also make beating COVID-19 when they carelessly get infected and spread to their parents at home.
Schools, especially private that can afford such services, would have to employ more hands for sanitation of these free-spirited children.
4. Academic performance and examinations: Lockdown didn’t only take a toll on finance, it definitely would have affected the cognitive activeness of some children who didn’t have the advantage of exercising their brains.
Common entrance exams, juniors and senior West African examinations would be nearing upon resumption of schools. The Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination is underway too. Parents would be counting on their schools to live up to expectations of rejigging their ward’s memories and ensure redundancy doesn’t set in in spite of the compulsory and over-stretched holidays they had just experienced.