GOVERNOR Dapo Abiodun has abolished free education in secondary schools and technical colleges across Ogun State with the introduction of a fee of N3,700 a term per pupil in response to the paucity of funds.
Like most of Nigeria’s 36 states, Ogun is struggling to fund education as the state’s internally generated revenue is way below its maintenance costs. Over-dependent on the monthly allocation it gets from the federal government, the Ogun State government is struggling to fund education and has had to introduce fees to bridge the gap.
Under the new arrangement, pupils will pay a total sum of N11,100 over the course of the 2019/20 academic session. However, the Ogun State Ministry of Education described the fee as a donation requested by the Parents/Teachers Association (PTA).
In a circular dated August 27 issued by the education ministry it was learnt that the donation was approved by Governor Abiodun. On assumption of office, Governor Abiodun declared a state of emergency in the education sector, promising to revive what he called the dwindling fortunes of education in the state.
Before and after his election he promised to make education free in all public schools in Ogun State but now, it appears the figures do not add up. Aside from the PTA levy, which is put at N600 a term, each parent will also pay N500 as a computer levy once a term, N500 as insurance costs a session, while sports/jet/literary activities will attract N300 a term..
Parents or guardians will also pay N1,500 for school materials including caps, badge and berets and N300 for file jacket both for new intakes. Education ministry officials have enjoined principals to adhere strictly with the content of the circular as the state government has zero tolerance to collection of unapproved fees in all public secondary schools/technical colleges.
Ogun State residents have, however, criticised the governor for reneging on his campaign promises less than 100 days in office. Some parents have enjoined him to emulate his Oyo State counterpart, Seyi Makinde, who has aborted all forms of fees or levies immediately he was inaugurated.