By Pamela Eboh Awka
Anambra State government has abolished payment of fees and all manner of indiscriminate levies in government-run public schools in the state.
Governor Chukwuma Soludo stated this when he paid an impromptu visit to Premier Primary School, Obosi and Ado Girls Secondary School in Onitsha.
Recall that before now, public schools in the State were tuition-free but all manner of levies were indiscriminately imposed on the pupils in virtually all the schools in the State
For instance, pupils in JS1 to JS3 were paying as much as N5,000 to N8,000 depending on the school as levies while pupils in SSS1 to SSS3 were paying between N8,000 to N12,000
Those in primary school pay as much as N2,000 in levies as well.
The abolishment of fees for government owned schools which covers the Nursery level to basic secondary schools,is expected to take effect from 2023/2024 academic session.
Speaking during the visit on Thursday, Soludo said that Students in SS1 to SS3 will not pay more than five thousand naira.
He cited that the constitution of Nigeria requires government to as soon as it is practicable, offer free primary or secondary education.
The Governor observed that among the four categories of schools in the state, government-run public schools are the least in terms of infrastructure and otherwise.
The governor said that by this announcement, his administration will begin massive revolution in public schools to make it a model in the education sector.
He gave assurance that government will be investing and rebuilding infrastructure in the schools in the coming weeks and months.
While promising to roll-out his government full agenda for the education sector in the coming days, Soludo said, my administration will begin to use education as an opportunity equaliser. Education as not just the future but the present.
“The big agenda is to mainstream education as the foundation.
“Anambra state has the highest concentration of the most entrepreneurial people in Africa. Unless children are given access to qualitative education, the future is uncertain.
“My interest is not only in the learning outcomes, but, to be directly involved in the entire process.”
The Governor urged communities in the state to get involved in building a good educational system that will benefit their children.
He further promised to pay the fees for SS1 to SS3 students of Ado Girls for the first term only.
In their various speeches, The Head Teacher of Premier Primary School, Mrs. Udoji Vivian and the Principal of Ado Girls Secondary School, Mrs. Chineke Okocha, reeled out some of the challenges facing their respective schools to the Governor which he promised to look into.
The governor was accompanied on the visit by Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Prof Solo Chukwulobelu, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Ernest Ezeajughi, Chief Protocol officer Hon Chinedu Nwoye, Commissioner for Education, Prof Ngọzi Chuma-Udeh, among others.