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As the new academic session begins, the Kwara State government has warned school principals not to engage in collections of illegal fees in secondary schools in the state, adding that new students should not pay more than N7,430 and N9,580 for the Parents and Teachers Association levy and books for Junior and Senior Secondary Schools respectively.
The Permanent Secretary, Kwara State Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development, Mrs Mary Adeosun, gave the warning at a meeting held with Principals of Secondary Schools at Saint Anthony Secondary School, Ilorin, on Friday.
Adeosun in a statement signed by Peter Amogbonjaye, Press Secretary in the Ministry, warned school principals across the 16 local governments in the state to desist from the collection of all kinds of illegal fees in all public Secondary Schools of the state.
She said that any principal caught collecting more than the approved PTA levies by the government will be sanctioned according to the civil service rules.
Adeosun, therefore, solicited the support of the school heads for the Administration of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq who she said is wholeheartedly committed to the welfare of teachers while also making huge investments in the education sector.
The Permanent Secretary called for sanity and discipline across the schools and urged the principals to tolerate one another to allow peace to reign in their respective schools.
She urged the principals to keep their students indoor, saying any school whose students are found roaming the street risks government sanctions.
She also reminded them that no principal should admit new students into SS 1 without the Basic Education Certification Examination (BECE) result, and where there is overpopulation in school, the students should move to neighbouring schools.
“Also, Vice Principal, Academics, should take charge of all examinations in the school and cautioned that staff should not be used as examination officers, warning that “Any school found wanting will be sanctioned.”
She asserted that “no NGOs, Old Students or Mission bodies, community or individual should be above the government of the state.
“Therefore, there must be appropriate permission from the government before anyone is allowed to carry out anything in the schools,” Adeosun said.
On the issue of PTA levy, the Permanent Secretary declared: “Henceforth, the ministry will deploy auditors to all secondary Schools in the state to know the status of their account.”
She therefore listed out the Approved Fees in the Schools as follows:
PTA levy for returning students
JSS – N1,450
SSS – N1,500
JSS – N3,930
SSS – N3,980
JSS – N4,500
Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) QUESTION AND ANSWER: N1,800.
She said that government will provide reading textbooks to pupils at the primary level through the SUBEB, a step she said underscores the commitment of the administration to basic education.
Earlier, the Executive Chairman of Kwara State Teaching Service Commission, Mallam Bello Abubakar, described as false a report that the Commission has commercialized the appointment of principals and vice principals in all Secondary Schools in the state.
He reiterated that the good work of the state governor in the sector, which included prompt payment of salary, promotion of teachers, and upgrading of infrastructure speak volumes about how he took the education sector and teachers’ welfare in the state.
Bello urged the school heads to be punctual and master their subjects to reciprocate the good gesture of the governor.
President of All Nigeria Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools, Mallam Umar Abdullahi, applauded the Governor for putting round pegs in round holes in the education sector, assuring the government that they will abide by the outcome of the meeting.
He further advised the principals to avoid any illicit acts that can dent their image.
Meanwhile, reports on recent efforts of the government show a huge surge in pupils’ enrolment in public schools as public confidence grows in the government’s investments in the sector.