The Federal Government has said private school owners are entitled to charge fees for third term as schools start resuming for exit classes.
The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, stated this at a media briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Monday in Abuja.
Nwajiuba was reacting to a question on if it was proper for private schools to charge third term fee since the period the exiting students would spend in school was short.
The minister said private school owners were running a business venture and not a charity organisation.
He added: “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 may be passionate about education, but will still charge fees.”
On the timing for the examinations, Nwajiuba said: “Once the WAEC (West African Examination Council) examination starts on August 17, it will run till the middle of September and NABTEB (National Business and Technical Examinations Board) will start immediately and run till October.
“NECO (National Examinations Council) examination will start on October 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.”
Nwajiuba emphasised that schools resumption was for exit classes at the moment, adding that some schools had even opened on Monday.
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.”