*government frowns, lists approved levies
By; KENNETH ORUSI, Asaba
A Facebook user, one Grace Akpakume, has expressed bitterness over unabated collection of levies and fees by school principals and head teachers in public schools.
She particularly alleged that the Urhobo College principal, one Mrs. Awusi, collects fees running into thousands of Naira even when the state government has times without number said education is free in the state.
Read her post: “I still find it difficult to come to terms on why Delta State Post Education has failed. Why is the New Urhobo College Principal still charges arbitrarily JSSCE students when it is obvious the Delta State government has time without number came out to refute accusations of Principals/Teachers embezzlement.
“Now, enrolment is about commencing with the Principal placing charges of1) N5,000 for registration 2) N800 for Teacher 3) N1,000 for additional services
“I can’t really phantom why these people are bent on provoking Deltans on a daily basis.
“So Nelson Egware, what is your defence over these daylight robbery by Principals and Teachers under this administration?
“According to these Principals, they say, they pay kickbacks to the Delta State Government.
“This Urhobo College Principal(Woman) is exhibiting criminality and the Delta State Government, okay, Okowa should come out quickly to stop this in the school”.
Meanwhile, reacting to the Facebook post which has attracted mixed feelings and reactions, the Delta State Government has frowned at the continued reported cases of collection of illegal levies in public primary and post primary schools in the state.
Making the stance of government known in Asaba, the state Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Chief Patrick Ukah, disclosed that the state government has zero tolerance for illegal levies stressing that any Principal or School Head caught in the act will be made to face the full wrath of the law.
He advised parents not to be encouraging the collection of illegal levies by paying such money, but should resist it and report such erring Principal or School Head to the appropriate authority for necessary action.
Chief Ukah warned Principals and School Heads involved in the ignoble act to retrace their steps and turn a new leaf as any of them that collects a kobo more than the approved levies will be sanctioned appropriately.
The Commissioner listed the approved levies for public primary schools to include school badge for primary one to primary six N50:00 every 3 years, report cards for primary one and transfer pupils N250:00 every 6 years, consumables for primary one to primary six N100:00 per term.
For students in public post primary schools, all students are to pay N150:00 every session for school badge, N200:00 every three years for students identity card, N200:00 termly for consumables, and SS 1 to SS 111, N300:00 termly for sports/NSSF levy.
All the students, including transfer students, will pay N250:00 termly for customized on line result, while JS 1, SS 1 and transfer students are to pay N150:00 every three years for students file.
Chief Ukah stated that even if the Parents’ Teachers’ Associations (PTAs) of schools are to do any intervention in any school, such decision must be taken during a general meeting of the body where the parents will agree on a particular amount to be paid.
Going further, he said that the money collected should be paid into the account of the PTA whose executive officers are expected to disburse the funds to meet the objective for which it was agreed on.
He said that any Principal or School Head that collects any amount more than the approved levies will be treated as a violator of the law.
Contacted, Mrs. Awusi, said: “They are not levied. The government has scratch cards levies that they have to pay before they write second term exam. And this is the time to pay it, because once we have enrolled them, they may not pay and the government…. they must pay for second term. How can they levy them? What are they levying them for? Please, nobody is being levied. What they are paying for is the government levy of scratch cards.
“So, we now told them to pay it so we can have a clean account with government. If you don’t take it now, you will enrol them and they won’t pay”.