By Muhammed Yakubu

The Joint Committee of Private and Voluntary Schools Associations in Kano State has distance itself from the decision of Association of Private School Owners of Nigeria (APSON) to reduce 3rd term school fees by 25% in the state.

Solacebase reports that members of the Association of Private School Owners of Nigeria (APSON), on Sunday, agreed to reduce schools fees charges by 25 percent as directed by Kano State Ministry of Education.

The association announced their decision when they paid a solidarity visit to the Commissioner of Education Malam Muhammad Sanusi Sa’id Kiru in his office.

This was contained in a statement issued by the ministry public relations officer, Aliyu Yusuf on Sunday.

However, in a statement released late on Sunday night, Joint Committee of Private and Voluntary Schools Associations in Kano State said it has not decided on the school fees reduction as announced by another association of private school owners.

Solacebase reports Joint Committee of Private and Voluntary Schools Associations consist of Association of Model Islamic Schools (AMIS), National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) and Independent School Proprietors Association Kano (ISPAK).

Solacebase recalls that Kano State Ministry of Education had last week threatened private school owners to a cancelled third term if the private school owners refused to reduce school fees as it was a precondition to have the third term in their meetings prior to reopening schools after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Joint Committee of Private and Voluntary Schools Associations in its statement said the decision to reduce the fees or otherwise would be taken on November, 5th.

It expressed surprise on the decision of Association of Private School Owners of Nigeria as they held several meetings together and the association never said it was accepting the reduction.

FULL TEXT OF THE PRESS STATEMENT OF JOINT COMMITTEE OF PRIVATE AND VOLUNTARY SCHOOLS ASSOCIATIONS IN KANO STATE.

WE HAVE NOT ACCEPTED 25% DISCOUNT ON SCHOOL FEES

BEING THE TEXT OF PRESS RELEASE BY JOINT COMMITTEE OF PRIVATE AND VOLUNTARY SCHOOLS ASSOCIATIONS IN KANO STATE, ON SUNDAY NOVEMBER 1, 2020 AT 9:00 PM

PREAMBLE:

Over the last few days, the media has been flooded with deliberate misinformation and misrepresentation of issues concerning discount of school fees by Kano State Private Schools.

This necessitated this press release by the Joint Committee of Private and Voluntary Schools Associations in Kano State, made up of the leadership of the following duly registered associations: Association of Model Islamic Schools (AMIS), National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) and Independent School Proprietors Association Kano (ISPAK).

BACKGROUND

We were contacted severally by the media, but because we do not want to heat up the already tense situation, and in order not to preempt the Government’s response to our request for clarification, we kept silent on the issue.
Despite the fact that there was a public holiday, we contacted the State Government to obtain clarification on the two separate issues: (a) The meaning and purpose of the cancellation of 3rd Term, and (b) the justification for a compulsory 25% discount on school fees when all sectors of the economy have increased their prices and charges. We are still awaiting their response.
We issued an update on Friday, October 30, 2020, exclusively to our members to set the records straight, douse the tension and avoid media exchange on the issue.
Unfortunately, the Ministry of Education, Kano State made a press release today, November 1, 2020, that “the government will not reverse back (sic) on its decision of cancelling the 3rd Term if the majority of the proprietors refuse to comply with the directives of the fees reduction.”
As we were meeting on the issue, we were bombarded by another announcement purportedly from the Ministry, claiming that Proprietors have agreed to 25% discount of school fees.
We note with concern, the unilateral action by representatives of APSON, who until yesterday were with us in all our meetings and decisions. However,
we wish to observe that Haj. Maryam Magaji, the National Vice President of APSON is an employee of the government under SUBEB. In the same vein, Murtala Hussain, the State Vice-Chairman is an Assistant Director with the Kano State Private and Voluntary Institutions Board. It is therefore surprising that employees of the Ministry of Education are coming out to speak on behalf of Proprietors of Private Schools.

OUR POSITION

We believe the issue of cancelling 3rd Term and that of school fees discount are two entirely separate issues, each of which should be handled differently.
We were requested to present our position on the issues of school fees discount, but before we could contact our members and present their position, Kano State Ministry of Education immediately went on air to announce the position of the government, on the issue.
While noting the huge negative impact of the 7-months shutdown and reiterating that any cancellation will only worsen an already bad situation; if there is an overriding public interest, we are ready to cooperate with and support the government, if it decides to cancel the 3rd Term, but that should not be tied to the issue of school fees.
We have each agreed to conduct a general congress of our Associations within the next 48 hours, after which we will announce our collective stand.
Once again, for the avoidance of doubt,
(a) our members have not received any financial assistance from the State or Federal Government, (b) we have not accepted the 25% discount and our position will be communicated to the authorities by Thursday, November 5, 2020.

Signed:

Engr Basheer Adamu Aliyu (08060844088) Chairman, Kano Chapter, Association of Model Islamic Schools (AMIS),

Alh Muhammad Mallam Adamu (08037053331), Chairman, Kano Chapter, National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS),

Mrs Fatima CAN Bello (08034085120), Chairperson Independent School Proprietors Association Kano (ISPAK)

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