Minister threatens to sack principals over unauthorised fees
A statement issued yesterday by the ministry quoted the minister as saying that principals must adhere strictly to government-approved fees or be sacked. There had been reports that some principals have increased fees and had disallowed pupils and parents who refused to pay into the school premises at the resumption of the 2016/2017session on Monday.
The list of charges obtained from the Deputy Director (Press), Ben Bem Goong, indicated that for the 2016/2017 session, new students are required to pay a total of N83, 000. Tuition is free for all pupils. New intakes’ fees are for prospectus, boarding, bed bunk and classroom furniture, caution fees, textbook deposit, uniforms, blazer, identity card, medical, stationery, vocational, sports, clubs and societies, utility, security, website/e-result/ICT, extra lesson and insurance. There were no charges approved for PTA (Parent Teacher Association). Likewise, the fees for all other pupils are devoid of PTA levies.
The document, which was authorised by Director of Basic and Secondary Education, Mrs. Anne Okonkwo, approved a total fee of N45, 500 for JSS 2 and SS2 pupils, N55, 500 for JSS 3 pupils, N65, 000 for SS1 and N75, 500 for SS 3. For second and third terms, all pupils are to pay a total fee of N25, 500.
Goong told The Guardian that contrary to the controversy generated about the increase in fees by government, only that for boarding was increased from N8, 000 to N15, 000 per term. ‘’And that is due to the challenge of feeding,” he said.
“What this means is that for three months, government is charging N15, 000 to feed each child. Tell me what parent does not spend more than N15, 000 to feed a child in three months assuming the child is at home with them and not on boarding”, he remarked.
He also explained that the fees for JSS 3 and SS 3 are more because they write WAEC and NECO examinations, which are embedded into the total charges.The minister advised parents whose wards are in Unity Colleges to report any infraction to the ministry for appropriate sanctions.
He disclosed that the authorised fees for Unity Colleges for the 2016/2017 academic year has been placed on the ministry’s website. He added that any principal who collects or has collected above the authorised fees must refund same to affected parents or guardians immediately.