Minister of state of Education, Mr Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, says private school owners are allowed to charge third term fees as schools begin resuming for exit classes.
Nwajiuba confirmed this at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) media briefing on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Abuja on Monday.
He responded to a query as to whether it was appropriate for private schools to charge a third term fee because the time spent in school was limited for the exiting students.
The minister said private school owners operate a business enterprise and not a charity.
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.”
He said “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 at the moment the resumption of schools was for exit students, adding that on Monday, Aug. 3, several schools had already opened.
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.”