By Julie Sylvia, Onitsha
A human rights organization, Civil Liberties Organization, CLO, Anambra State chapter, Weekend commended Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo’, for the abolishment of school fees in both primary and post primary schools in the state.
In a press statement signed by the CLO State chairman, Evangelist comrade Vincent Ezekwueme and secretary, Chidi Mba, and made available to newsmen in Onitsha, the organization described the governor as “Governor with listening ear,” adding that he listens to the cries and predicament of students and parents over escalating cost of education in view of hardships necessitated by fuel subsidy removal.
In the press release tagged, “Educate the children of the poor they will come out of poverty,” the duo recalled that CLO had earlier appealed to Gov.Soludo to wade into exploitation of parents and students by school authorities in the state.
“It is disheartening that missionary schools charge outrageous school fees thereby defeating the good intentions of government in handing over schools to missionary. It is incredible but existential reality that most mission schools charge between #250,000 to #400,000 to new students and JSS3 students entering SSS in the same school yet government pays salaries of teachers.
“For the policy to have wider positive effects, mission schools that government handed over to churches should be inclusive as government uses tax payers money to pay teachers and staff of these mission schools.The aims of government will be relentless efforts without effect if mission schools and private schools are not call to order and given operational guidelines.
“Pertinently Gov.Soludo should constitute Monitoring Committee to ensure strict adherence to his direct as some school heads will still disobey the government directive.
His Excellency should also take step further by directing school authorities to stop extorting and exploiting students and parents as they demand outrageous items like big dettol, detergents, toiletries, brooms, cutlass, among others.
“In some schools the pupils pay fees ranging from #5000 to #7000 depending on the headteacher or principal. We thank his Excellency and appeal to him to ensure in words,Qdeeds and actions, the judicious and transparent implementation of this laudable, education protection and life saving policy,” the duo stated.
They equally alerted Gov Soludo that from Holy Trinity Onitsha to Nkwelle Ezunaka and to Nsugbe, that there is no government schools within the axis except Oyolu Primary School and Community Secondary School, Nkwelle.
“We reiterate our earlier appeal to governor Soludo to establish Primary and Secondary Schools in those places as some parents living in the areas cannot afford exorbitant school fees by private schools,” they pleaded.