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Low-cost schools want government’s home-grown feeding project extended to pupils

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Urge Buhari to institute national special fund
Owners of low-income schools, under the umbrella body of Association for Formidable Educational Development (AFED), have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to extend the Federal Government’s home-grown feeding project to pupils in low-cost private schools.

The association also asked the President to, as a matter of urgency, institute a national importance special fund that will provide a single-digit loan to operators of low-cost private schools to enable them deploy the use of technology in their operations in the interest of the Nigerian child.

Low-cost schools are mostly schools that charge between N2,000 and N18,000 as school fees per term and offer services to children from low-income homes in various communities across the country.

The National President of the group, Mrs. Esther Ifejola Dada, who spoke yesterday at a briefing to announce the 2018 yearly congress of the association, scheduled for Friday, June 8, 2018, said the association had been working assiduously to reduce the number of out-of-school children in the country.

The group, which promised to provide educational services to millions of Nigerian kids scattered in remote areas of the country, said if the children under such category are neglected or denied education, it would spell doom for the nation.

She, therefore, urged the President to extend basic educational rights and privileges being enjoyed in public schools to children in low-fee private schools.

She said: “The Federal Government must understand that children in low-cost schools are there due to inadequate government facilities in some locations where our low-fee schools are prominent. Pupils in these schools are Nigerian children irrespective of creed, economic status and tribe, thus educational rights and privileges meant for every child at basic education level should be extended to children in low-fee private schools as we have in public schools. And so, the free feeding programme through the home-grown feeding project should be extended to AFED schools.”

Dada insisted that member-schools needed to access affordable loans to support a laudable goal facilitated by the United Kingdom’s (UK) Department for International Development (DFID) through DEEPEN Challenge Fund on the innovative use of technology in bridging the gap on quality curriculum content deliveries across our member-schools.

“Our focus is on the use of technology, which is a global trend for result-oriented learning. We want to deliver in the next three years a tablet with preloaded textbooks, workbook, exercises and continuous assessment for every child in the basic education class. This quest might seem gigantic but with collective will, it is surmountable. You will agree with me that there is no low interest loans anywhere except with the intervention of the Federal Government,” she said.


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