Undermine standards have maggots as students— Proprietress , Kings and Queens Academy Lokoja.

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Undermine standards have maggots as students— Proprietress , Kings and Queens Academy Lokoja.

Treasure Ochemeje lokoja

The Country’s Educational system is no doubt facing serious challenges. The challenges of funding, falling standards and moral decadence etc. The Private Schools who came in to boost the sector are allegedly creating more problems than solutions.
In this interview , the Proprietress, Kings and Queens Academy Lokoja, Mrs Folashade Adegbemi, said, at her school, the slogan is ” if you undermined standards you have maggots as students, she Commends Gov. Yahaya Bello for the covid 19 palliatives he extended to private schools in the state.

Excerpt.

Your performance at both the WAEC and NECO Examinations.

Indeed our students performed excellently well against the initial fears we had as a result of the covid 19. The results are marvelous. Our students scored good grades in most critical subjects. I accord the success story to God and the hard working teachers and staff. Their sacrifices were rewarded with good results that the school obtained that has made us to raise our heads high among our peers.

It was a widely held believe that most of the private schools are using unqualified teachers, what is the situation in your school.

Private Schools owners would not want to bring down the standard of Education. I can conveniently say that 99% of private schools owners would not employ unqualified teachers. The issue that could be found with some of these schools is insufficient funding, and not that they will flagrantly compromise standards.
For sometimes now, I have been the president of private schools owners and I do go out on monitoring, and I can give them pass mark to what they are doing.
Secondly, the quality of the proprietor matters alot. When a proprietor has taste for high quality, he would not undermine quality, because the children you are grooming are the leaders of tomorrow and if you develope fake students’ and substandard teachers , you will end up not getting good results and the image of the school will be tarnished.
” You can imagine, a school with unqualified teachers, and when these students get to the University or other tertiary institutions it will tell on them. That is when it will dawn on you that you have developed maggots , that is why we have doctors that are Killing the people through wrong diagnosis. You see this happening because their backgrounds were weak. However , we at the Kings/ Queens Academy loves standard and we go for it no matter the cost.

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What is your take on proliferation of mushroom schools in the state.

All these upcoming Schools, this is the best name to call them, because Rome as they say, is not built one day .They are upcoming, as they need our encouragement and support to grow. They may not have sufficient funds initially, so ,
we need to assist and encourage them to become standard schools. When they get needed assistant, it will enable them to overcome their challenges. Monitoring standards is the work of the ministry of Education. When the go round and find out mushroom schools , i think they should know what to do. We have no power to shut down any school, we can only advise them. We have been advising the upcoming school to do what is right to become standard schools.

It is assumed that Private Schools in kogi charge higher fees than their counterparts in other states.

The allegation is not true. We are very considerate and moderate in our charges. I can only tell you that our charges are far lower than many states. We have students that joined us from other states , for example, two students’ from Portharcourt in River state and we were told that they charge as high as two hundred thousand per term and here , we charge between #20,000 – #30,000 , you can see that we are considerate in our charges. We consider the status of the state which is a civil service state, hence , we charge what the majority of patients could pay. So, for , anybody to say that we charge exorbitantly is not true. Abuja, our close neighbour, some boarding schools do charge between #800,000 to a million naira, while the highest a boarding schools could charge here is between #150, ooo – #200,000.

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How are you coping with the covid 19 pandemic and the depressed economy in keeping the school afloat.

We give thanks to God Almighty and also the Government of Alhaji Yahaya Bello. The Government made an arrangement to give the schools paliatives and in keeping to his promise ten teachers each from major schools were selected for the palliatves. My school was lucky, my ten teachers were paid their salaries for three month by the state government. From my research, over 80% of the private schools in the state benefited.
Governor Yahaya Bello did not stop at that , he yanked off some taxes, he gave us tax holidays, and when you factor in all these Palliatives, the effect of Covid 19 was reduced on our running cost.
The banks are no longer enthusiastic in giving us loans again, but with the government assistance and our side business we are coping with the pandemic. Like Oliver Twist , we are still looking in the direction of the Government’s assistance to enable us come out of the challenges of economic downturn.

How are you complying with Covid 19 protocols.

At kings and Queens , we are complying hundred percent. We have a rule that No face mask no entry. We have hand washing points in designated areas in the school premises. The Governor has done alot. He built confidence in the people against the Covid 19. He gave us assurance of safety , although safety comes from God even as kogi is free of Covid. However, it does not mean, we should not be cautious, because , the state is surrounded by ten states and Abuja, who crisscrossed the state on daily basis. We keep all the protocols. Washing of hands, wearing face masks, and keeping Social distance.

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Your School is designated as science schools like many others, do you have the wherewithal to run a standard science school.

To the glory of God , we are well equipped to run science courses. For a school worth its onion in sciences ought not to be substandard. They are expected to have all that it takes for them to prove that they are science schools. They could also be helped to reach desired standards. In this wise parents can donate practical equipments, and I urged them to stand their ground when laboratories are not well equipped. They should inspect those schools before registering their children and wards. I think , with constant monitoring and observation by parents, deviants school will sit up to put necessary Infrastructures in place. For we, we can beat our chest over what we have packaged in our laboratories . All Science subjects, the laboratory is stocked with the latest materials, and this account to our high grades in the WAEC and NECO Results.

Your advice for parents and students.

My advise to parents is that if they want they best for their children, the best place is Kings and Queens Academy opposite Maigumeri Army Barracks Lokoja . At kings and queens we nurture and groom future leaders. And to the glory of God , our ex students , who graduated from the Universities , often come out with first class degrees. We are proud to say that we have raised over 30 qualified medical doctors, Nurses, Engineers and lawyers etc. In all , we give it to God Almighty who has helped us thus far.


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