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Private school teachers in Oyo State have appealed to government, corporate organizations and public-spirited individuals to come to their aid by providing them with relief materials to mitigate the effect of this lockdown occasioned by COVID-19.

On the platform of the Private School Teachers Association, three officers of the body, Messrs Julius Toye Bamidele (president), James Adebobola Ademola (Ibadan zonal director), and Rotimi Olawale (Oyo State public relations officer) told Tribune Education on Monday that it had been difficult for members to cater to the needs of their families since schools were ordered shut to curtail the spread of the virus.

The president of the association, Mr Bamidele, who spoke for the rest, said, “Since March 27, 2020 that the order was given that all sectors, including schools, should stay at home because of COVID-19, we have been having issues on how to feed our families.

There are cases whereby both husband and wife are teachers in private schools; it’s been a problem. There is no way we can get salary from school owners because parents are not paying since their children are not in school, and we have no other source of income. Even many of them (schools) operate with the ‘no work, no pay’ principle.

“We want to appeal for help from the public, government, corporate bodies and individuals to give us palliatives for us to be able to live with our families, because we don’t know when this period will be over.

We have been told that government may consider reopening schools on July 15, but who knows if it’s going to be more than that. It means we are going to spend two more months without any other source of income.”

When asked if some of them had been engaged in the much-touted online lessons during the lockdown, and if it had been of any help, Bamidele said only two or three teachers are engaged at a time (in schools that are doing it), and those are given only a token for their efforts.

Some schools are doing it, but only one teacher or two are engaged. The highest is three or four (teachers); and those ones are given peanuts just for them to anchor the online school; whereas, other teachers are not getting anything.

We are soliciting help from the public for all of us in Oyo State,” he pleaded.

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