Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun has said that his administration remains irrevocably committed to free education in all public primary and secondary schools in the state.
The state Ministry of Education had in a circular dated Tuesday, August 27, 2019 directed pupils in public secondary schools and technical colleges to pay N3,700 per term.
The ministry in the circular described the fee as a “donation” requested by the Parent/Teacher Association (PTA).
But Governor Abiodun, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Kunle Somorin in Abeokuta yesterday, 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.
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“The state does not intend to impose any charge or school fee on pupils in public primary schools and has not authorised any secondary or technical school principal to collect levies or charges from any student as being insinuated in some quarters.” Abiodun, who urged the people of the state to disregard insinuations that students are to pay some mandatory fees when schools resume next week, added: “We have not authorised payment of any new charge as being peddled by some online platforms.
“The government was not unaware of some ‘donations’ by the Parent/Teacher Association (PTA).“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 items: Computer, PTA levy, insurance, Sport/Jet/Lit, school materials/caps/badges/beret and file jacket.”
Meanwhile, the governor has assured residents of Adigbe-Opako and its environs in Abeokuta that the bridge linking the two communities will be completed soon.Abiodun, who gave the assurance while inspecting the project, said it would have been completed by now but for some necessary modifications done on the bridge for it to carry large volume of water during heavy rain.
“We had to make some adjustments to the original design to accommodate large volume of water when there is heavy rain. Work done here before was not enough to stop flooding. We believe that with what is being done now, the problem of perennial flooding in this area will be a thing of the past,” he said.He, therefore, urged the people of the area to be patient for a thorough job and continue to support his administration to serve them better.