NAPPS FCT ABUJA CHAPTER
HOW WE STARTED, OUR STAND AND OUR STRENGTH
PRESENTED AT FIRST CONGRESS OF NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF PROPRIETORS OF PRIVATE SCHOOLS, FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY, CHAPTER, 12TH APRIL 2012 BY J.O. OTEGBADE
A circular of October 13, 1996, from the Director of Education of the Federal Capital Territory Alh Akwanga invited all private schools to a meeting of November 7, 1996. It focused on bringing about control against the backdrop of incessant proliferation of schools in the Territory. It appeared that pegging the fees demanded by Proprietors was also on the agenda. But this was dropped on the fact that parents who chose private schools voluntarily went for them for a particular reason. No one was forced to patronize private schools. So fee was left to be.
Mr. Emmanuel Ogben, then a Zonal Education Officer at the Municipal Area Council was a good go-between for the Education Department and the Private Schools. While the purpose released to us was to enhance coordination of private schools we came to discover other issues included facilitation of our control and applying some form of taxation. This was period when allocation to FCT was falling. A few schools coming into operation would be source of revenue to the government. Think of Loyola Jesuit or Olumawo whose fees were considered high. It did not appear to be the concern of Government how the ‘high brow’ schools would recoup their investment or liquidate their bank loans if the fees were pegged.
At the meeting of November 7, Protem officers were to be picked. But we had spotted the Proprietresses of Olumawu and Mrs. Norwange of Top Hill in expectation that theirs were names respected in the City and their school structure then were solid. But we were disappointed as both women turned down our offer to lead the young Association. So, leadership then fell on Otegbade of System Education School, Garki/Kubwa, Engineer Eugine of Julie Foundation, Karmo and a few others whose schools were in the Municipal Council Area.
Six months were set for the Protem Exco to leave office for an elected set, but our Protem was forced to stay on till two years and six months as only a few were willing to look off the administration of their schools for the interest of all. Some also felt that an Exco position might become confrontational. But contrary to this, the Municipal Education office accepted to house our meetings and sometime, her officers were present at our discussions.