Mixed reactions have continued to trail the introduction of N3,700 levy by the Ogun State Government for pupils in the government-owned secondary school in the state.
The Ogun State Government had in a circular dated August 27, 2019, ordered parents and guardians of pupils in public secondary schools and technical colleges in the state to pay a compulsory levy of N3,700 on resumption for the 2019/2010 academic session.
The President of the Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools in Ogun State, Akeem Lasisi, in an interview with our correspondent, said there was nothing wrong in the introduction of the levy.
He said, “I see no reason why parents, guardians and other major stakeholders in the education sector in Ogun state should not be included in the developmental growth of our children. There is nothing bad in the introduction of the PTA support levy in government-owned secondary schools.
“We don’t need to play politics with the education of our children. Before the introduction of the levy, we have seen cases where government was unable to pay the WASSCE fees of our children, thereby depriving them of the opportunity to get into tertiary institutions.
“We cannot categorise the payment of N3,700 as school fees. If you look at the circular critically, you will observe that it is only the PTA levy, which is N500, and a Computer levy of N600 that will be paid per term. Others will be paid per session.
“It is wrong to say that pupils in government-owned secondary schools have been directed to pay N3, 700 per term. It was the PTA, and other major stakeholders, including ASSUS that requested the introduction of this fee.”
He said there was a transparent process in place to monitor the judicious use of the levy. “When we say a fund is meant for the PTA, even the Principal of the school has no say in the spending of the money. The signatories include the PTA Chairman, the PTA secretary, and the bursar of the school. It is now left for the parents to monitor how this money will be spent in various schools,” Lasisi said.
Parents who spoke with our correspondents, however, disagreed with ASSUS and the Ogun State Government on the N3,700 levy.
A parent, who identified himself as Mr. Ahmed Adeniji, said the situation of the country at the moment might make the payment of the levy difficult for some parents.
“If you look everywhere, you will see that there is no money and no jobs. Even artisans are not getting jobs. To make matters worse, some of us have up to three or four pupils in these schools. We can only appeal to the government to reduce this levy,” Adeniji said.
Another parent, Mrs. Iyabo Azeez, said the PTA executives that suggested this fee should have carried all parents long.
“The decision was made by the executives alone. I’m not saying the idea is bad, but for those of us who have no less than three pupils or more in these schools the only thing we can do is appeal to the government to subsidize this levy for us,” she said.
Source: Punch News