SCHOOLS CLARIFY APPROVED GOVERNMENT LEVY

Following the several reports on social media and outcry from parents and guardians about the state government authorizing schools to collect money from their students, Ika Weekly reporters on Tuesday November 28, 2017, visited some schools within the two LGAs of Ikaland, to ascertain the true position of things.
During a visit to Igumbor Otiku secondary school Agbor, Mr. Anthony Osiagwu, the Principal of the school, informed the reporters that a circular from the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, Delta State, was issued to all principals of public secondary schools in the state. Continuing, he disclosed that, what they are collecting is not school fees, saying, “it is called approved levy in public secondary schools in Delta state” speaking further he gave the breakdown of the items to include; school badge-N150, student identity card-N200 (this is every three years), customized result booklet- N300(Every three years), consumables-N200(it has to do with chalk, biro, diaries, registers e.t.c), student file N150, and sports / NSSF levy- N300; these are the approved levies that the students are to pay, when you add up everything it is N1300 for new students which comprise JSS1 and SS 1 student; while for the old students they are to pay N1000,per student. Continuing, he revealed that payment of the approved levy is during the beginning of a new academic session and payments have commenced for the current 2017/2018 academic session.
When asked by the reporters whether the payment of the levy by the students is now supposed to be the payment of subvention to schools, which the government ought to take care of. Mr. Osiagwu, stated that for the past four years there has not been anything like subvention to schools. He noted that previously government used to provide schools subvention which is usually used in buying the above items, but now there is nothing like that, hence school principals are finding it difficult to run the schools.
Continuing, he said, “we are indeed grateful to the state government for approving this levy to enable us run the schools effectively”.
At Efeizomor secondary school, Boji-Boji Owa, the principal of the school, was said to be out on an official assignment, during the reporters visit to the school.
At Ogbemudein Model Secondary School, Agbor, Comrade Augustine Nkem Omeife, the Acting Principal of the school informed, Ika Weekly Newspaper reporters that the money was not school fees but just some minor levies which the government has considered very important for the smooth running of public secondary schools in Delta State.
Continuing, he read out the approved levies one after the other; school badge-N150, student identity card –N200 (Every three years), customized result booklet-N300 (Every three years), consumables- N200 (chalks, Diaries, registers e.t.c), student file-N150 and sports/ NSSF levy- N300; these are the approved levies by the government, which the students are expected to pay.
He stated that the total money is one thousand, three hundred naira, for the new JSS 1 and SS1 students, and One Thousand Naira for the old students. When asked whether the students and their parents are now being made to pay for the running of schools, since government no longer gives schools subvention.
Responding, Comrade Omeife, stated that, “the government has not come out to speak on the issue of subvention, but schools cannot be adequately run without being properly financed and to run a school, you don’t expect principals to use their own money to do the running of the school; so that is why the government decided to approve the above levy for the running of schools.
At Institute of Continue Education in Agbor, students were seen stranded at the gate while some were tracking home during school hours. When asked the reason for them not being in their classrooms or in the school premises, they told the press that they were been chased home by their principal for not paying their school fees and other charges which total N6700.
They further explained that, the school charged them N3500 for school fee, N1000 for PTA levy, N1000 for examination, N600 for sports and another N600 for computer training.
At Owa Model Secondary School, Mrs. Dibie, the school Principal stated that the only money that was collected from the student was a levy that is approved by the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education.
Mrs. Dibie stated this in her office while speaking to an Ika Weekly reporter who visited the school during the week, to ascertain the veracity of the allegation. Refuting the allegation, she presented a copy of the approved levies that had been sent to the school by the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education to back up her claims. She said “though, education is free in Delta State, there are some levies approved by the ministry and that is the only money we collect. The levy did not come from me and outside it, we do not tax students.
The levy which comprises school badge, students Identity Card, customized result booklet, consumables, students file, sport/ NSSF levies is paid every session, every three years and per term respectively. In all, the levies amount to a total of 1,000 naira for new students and 700 Naira for old students.
Addressing the issue of text books, which was also alleged to have been forced on the students, she said that “even though every child needs text books to learn better, it is not forced on them, and that the school does not sell textbooks unless they are granted permission by the Chief Inspector Of Education (C.I.E) in the Local Government”.
She therefore used the opportunity to call on the general public to disregard the rumors and also called on parents to co-operate with the school management, in order to ensure effective learning for their children.

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