The Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun has said that his administration remains irrevocably committed to free education in all public primary and secondary schools.
“As a responsible government we would not eat our words by reneging on promises made to the people. There is no going back on the issue of free education that we promised the people”, a statement issued by the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin said.
The State, “does not intend to impose any charges or school fees on pupils in Public Primary Schools and has not authorize any Secondary or Technical School Principal to collect levies or charges from any student as being insinuated in some quarters”, the Governor spokesperson added.
Somorin urged “the good people of Ogun State to disregard insinuations that students are to pay some mandatory fees when schools resume next week. We have not authorized payment any new charges as being peddled by some online platforms.”
He added that the people should keep faith with the new administration that does want to be distracted from providing focused and qualitative governance, adding that the Government is not unaware of some “donation” by the Parents/Teachers Association (PTA).
The Government said it had no hand in it. “From available records that it was the PTA that volunteered in 2017 and approved the said “donation” of N2,700 per pupil and thereafter, in 2018, the amount was raised by N1,000 and it became N3,700.” According to the parents’ body, the amounts were meant to cover six (6) items: Computer, PTA levy, Insurance, Sport/Jet/Lit, School Materials/Caps/Badges/Beret and File Jacket.
“Education is a major pillar of this administration and the Governor minced no words when he declared a state of emergency on that sector. Prince Dapo Abiodun has moved on to fixing the mess by putting the abandoned Model Schools into positive uses,” the statement said, adding that the governor is very passionate about improving the quality of education and that is why he is not leaving any stone unturned in bringing back the lost glory of the sector.
“We have the largest number of Tertiary and Primary institutions in this country. We are what Boston is to the United States and Ogun state is the education capital of this country. However, the results of our students in both internal and external examinations have been on a decline and imposing levies will rather exclude some very indigent students from having access to education. That is not our goal. We run and inclusive Government and we will not toy with the educational legacy of the future leaders of the state and will do the needful to correct the anomalies that exist within the system.