IN ANAMBRA State, private schools have been recognised as contributing a great deal in filling the yawning gap left by the state government in the provision of primary and secondary schools, in addition to quality education.
All over the country, private primary and secondary schools have served a great deal to cover the inability of state governments to reach remote areas where governments have been unable to establish schools which should be seen as one of the basic needs of the society.
The failure on the part of state governments to extend basic amenities and basic infrastructures to the areas covered by private schools led to the formation of association of private school owners nationally and sub-nationally.
Like any other private business, state governments expect the proprietors to observe the laws guiding establishment of private businesses but the expectations have pitched them with the agencies of government. Consequently, the leadership of the private schools has often engaged the government agencies especially the revenue agencies and Ministry of Education to streamline issues.
Recently, the association of proprietors of private schools resorted to public demonstration visit to the House of Assembly over what they perceived as “outrageous demands from the ministry of education and other revenue collecting agencies and Internal Revenue Services, [IRS]”.
The IRS helmsman, Dr. David Nzekwu debunked the allegations of multiple taxes on the proprietors of private schools, regretting that “some private schools do not pay taxes. Every private school doing business in Anambra state must effect three categories of registration: business premises registration, registration in the ministry of education, and registration at the IRS”.
In view of the fact that Governor Willie Obiano has been demonstrating human disposition and empathy in his style of administration, the association of private schools should seek audience with him to explain their challenges given the fact that he appreciates the gap being filled by private schools since no state government has established primary and secondary schools to every needed areas both in the urban, semi-urban and rural areas.
For instance, the proprietors can make case for stopping the fees being charged on their branded buses which they use in administration and conveying school children to and fro their abodes and school premises.
It is some of these taxes that compel them to raise their school fees to the discomfiture of parents and guardians who cannot afford to take their children and wards to public schools that are far away from the places they domicile.