The Federal Government has affirmed it is the right of privately owned schools to charge fees for third term as schools resume for exit classes.
Minister of State for Education, Chief Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, clarified this at the media briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 pandemic in Abuja.
The Minister was responding to a question on whether it was proper for private schools to charge for a huge third term fee, considering the fact the period to be spent in school by exiting students would be short.
The Minister, however, noted that owning a private school is not being charitable but running a business.
He explained: “For public institutions, we can’t tell you that we charge school fees, most of our schools are free, public schools are free and varies 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’s not running a charity organization, 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 may be a very passionate person about education. But they will still charge fees.
“We did communicate last week before went on break that really, once these WAEC exams start on August 17, it would run through to the middle of September. We will immediately thereafter commence NABTEB and it will run into October.
“About a week to its end, we will begin NECO exams on October 10 and run through to November. So, for all of these persons, we expect that children are working, examining and learning.
“We don’t just want them to be in the school and be playing, this is serious stuff, this is exit class, this is what says a lot about the six years they’ve spent in secondary school.
“Even right right, we are lifting the registration for NABTEB and NECO, continuously running, even while we are about to begin WAEC.
“All exams are a test of outcomes. We will want our teachers to continuously engage them,” he said.
On schools’ reopening, the Minister said: “Schools are essentially opened at the moment for exit classes, some of them have already commenced today, I monitored some of the developments about Lagos State. Some other states will open as the week proceeds.”