The National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), Lagos State chapter, on Wednesday said that proliferation of taxes imposed on private schools by local governments was the major challenge confronting the association.
Mr Wasiu Adumadeyin, President of the association, told newsmen of the challenge at a news conference on the 2018 NAPPS banquet and award night scheduled for Dec. 6 in Lagos.
Adumadeyin said the association had sued all the local governments in the state to court, to challenge some of the taxes imposed on the private schools.
“We are not objecting that we do not want to pay our tax, but the ones imposed on us are too numerous and we are not expected to pay some of them.
“We have written an appeal letter to the deputy governor to intervene, so that it can be reduced, ” he said.
According to him, government must begin to see private school education as a social service and not a commercial venture, and must stop charging the operators outrageous taxes.
He said that in developed countries such as Canada, government supports private schools by paying half of the students’ school fees.
“We don’t get such support in Nigeria from the government; what we get is imposition of different taxes and levies, ” Adumadeyin said.
He urged the government to extend grants such as free books and meals given to students in the public schools to their counterparts in the private schools .
The NAPPS president said that since parents of students in the private schools pay tax, their children also deserve such benefits.
He listed other challenges being faced by the association as funding and poor participation of members in its programmes.
“We have not been able to achieve 100 per cent participation of our members in our programmes and this is because most of our members are constrained financially and could not pay their dues.
“This development has not made us as buoyant as expected,” he said.
Adumadeyin said despite the challenges, however, the current executive of the association had been able to break some new grounds in the last one year.
He said that they had been able to organise series of workshops, seminars and retreats for both proprietors , teachers, non-teaching staff and parents, mostly at no cost, to improve the quality of education.
According to him, they have also been able to develop a more harmonious relationship with the State Ministry of Education and government, which enables the association to be regarded as a partner in decision-making in the sector.
He said that the association also initiated a unified examination, teachers award and a game festival for all private schools in the state, to enhance education standard.
Adumadeyin said that the association’s current administration had also been able to attract and work with so many NGO’s and viable companies and also got grants for the support of member schools.
He said that CSS Bookshop was selected for its contribution to providing quality material for readers, instructors and learners toward enhancing quality education.
“We are, however, still compiling the list of other well-deserved recipients who will also bag awards at the ceremony for contributing immensely to either NAPPS as a body , the education sector or to humanity,” Adumadeyin said.