Fear of sack grips teachers in Kaduna as COVID-19 spread persists

Fear of job loss has grips private school teachers in Kaduna State as school owners may not cope with payment of salaries due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

Some teachers, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Kaduna, said if the lockdown persisted, private school owners might be forced to lay-off some staff so as to remain in business after the restriction.

Mrs Irene Bukola, a teacher at Excell Model School, Narayi, told NAN that many private schools depended on school fees to pay their staff.

“If the lockdown takes longer time, the owners will deem it necessary to downsize their workforce.

“It is not a good feeling when you know you may possibly lose your job, especially when you know that’s your major source of income.

“Parents, by now ought to be making payments of school fees for the third term that should have begun after the Easter holiday.

“But that has not happened,’’ Bukola noted.

Mr Joseph Akoh, who teaches at Brighter Academy, Sabo Tasha said that he foresaw a situation where, not only teachers would be sacked, but many private schools would shut down.

“Our fear is as the same with the owners of the schools, whose businesses may also fold up if the COVID-19 pandemic persists,’’ Akoh said.

He decried a situation where private school teachers have insurance cover, let alone a fall-back trust fund that would serve as succour when they are sacked.

He added that the situation would have untold effect on their personal and family needs.

Mrs Alheri David, a teacher at Imani Model School, Ungwan Romi said there was a need for the state government’s intervention for private school teachers who also contributed to the state’s education sector.

“There are private schools in remote areas where public schools are not given the requisite attention.

“Eventually, the children would be at the receiving end when these schools close down and that is not a plus for educational development,’’ David said.

Some school proprietors, contacted for comment on the situation, declined to talk to NAN correspondent.