Bankole Taiwo, Abeokuta
The governor of Ogun state, Prince Dapo Abiodun has said that his administration was irrevocably committed to pursuing free education policy in all public primary and secondary schools just as he promised during electoral campaign
Prince Abiodun gave this assurance in a statement issued by his spokesman, Mr Kunle Somorin to debunk some reports flying around over the weekend that the governor has turned his back to this important aspect of his electoral promises.
The governor was quoted to have said “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. 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 statement urged the people of the state to disregard insinuations that students wete to pay some mandatory fees when schools resume next week as the government has not authorized payment of 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 was not unaware of some “donation” by the Parents/Teachers Association (PTA).
The government said it had no hand in such donations explaining that “from available records 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 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”.