Friday, September 18, 2020
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Kogi Parents Protest Hike in Examination Fees

Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello

From  Joseph Amedu,  Lokoja

The agrrieved Parents,  under the aegis of Kogi Concerned Parents ( KCP)  in the Management of Basic and Senior Secondary Schools in Kogi state  have cried  out to the State Government to intervene in the prohibitive fees charged by some Schools in the state for the  ongoing registration of Basic Education Certificate Examination  ( BECE) 

Spokesperson of the aggrieved parents,  Comrade Idajili Ocholi who in a chat  with DAILY ASSET in Lokoja urged  the ministry  to step up its monitoring mechanism to stop the  unscrupulous school owners  who charged  as high as N,500, N10,000 and N15,000  as fees  for the ongoing registration of  BECE examination.

Ocholi who described the fees as unacceptable,  , noted that the state government  may not have beamed its searchlight on the activities  of the Shylock School owners, who have been  ripping  off the parents stressing that , if not checked, they could derail the educational advancement of many students.

He lamented that it was only in Kogi state that  private Schools were allowed to charge fees according to their whims and caprices without the government rising to the occasion to  protect the interest of the people.

” When you take a cursory look at the ways private Schools  charge their fees  in the state without recourse to the prevailing economic trend calls for concern. We are pained that the government that would have stood in the defense of the masses might  have  tacitly given them  the nod to charge whatever they want.

” We have surveyed the entire North Central States and compared what they charge for their  coordinate Schools  Kogi has been adjudged to be against the educational development of the  children.

” We have asked the Ministry of Education through our Parents Teachers Association( PTA) to ensure benchmark for the determination of fees charged by the Schools, we  were surprised that the ministry charged only #2, 500 for the BECE , unfortunately, many private  schools have turned the examination to a money making enterprise as some of them    charge as high as N7, 500,  N10,000 and more.

” We are ready to stop our children from writing the BECE if the fees are not reversed. The  BECE  is meant to transit a student from JSS3 to SS1 and we are saying that  unless the  government prevail on the Schools to revert to the approved fees we are ready to continue with the protest until  government step in to rescue us from the hands of our shylock, greedy and  money making so called private Schools”, they stated .

Meanwhile, DAILY ASSET investigation at the Ministry of Education in Lokoja, revealed that the total registration fees  approved by the ministry for the BECE stands at  N3,300 including the margin of benefits for the schools.

According to the information , the floating of 2020 Basic Education Certificate Examination(BECE)  which was addressed to the Executive Chairman TSC, Executive Director STEB; Executive Chairman of SUBEB and  Chairperson NAPPS  had directed each approved school to Charge BECE  fees of N2,500 for the registration, N300.00 for the  Printing of BECE result  and N300,00 for the cost of online registration, while  N200.00 for  administrative expenses   totalling  N3,300  per  student sitting for BECE in the state.

Meanwhile, the ministry  has warned School owners and proprietors to desist from charging  any amount outside the stipulated fees  vowed to impose  appropriate sanctions on the erring Schools. 

In his reaction , the State Chairman of Parents Teachers Association, ( PTA)  Comrade Paul Jibrin , stated that the ministry of Education always meet all the stakeholders  on issue of policy before taken final decisions.

He lamented the attitude of some school owners who haD penchant for defrauding parents who were already weighed down by heavy burden of economic exigencies.

He warned school proprietors to consider the economic situation of parents in fixing their fees and not to shortchange parents by charging exorbitant fees for public examinations outside the state approval.

He warned the erring proprietors to revert to the  ministry’s  approved  fees of N3,300, for BECE as the association will not fold its arms allowing schools to trade with the future of the children.

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