By Osifo Godfrey
The Federal Government has put a stop to the collection of development levies by the Parent-Teacher Association [PTA] in all Unity Colleges in the country.
This was made through the Deputy Director [press and Public Relations] in the Ministry of Education Ben Bem Goong, citing it as palliative to the sufferings of parents and the students generally.
The ban which takes immediate effect, also came with the warnings that no other extra levy imposition on the students will be acceptable in all unity schools.
The statement quoted the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, as saying that the new measures were aimed at arresting the shocking trend where development levies imposed on parents by PTAs were becoming higher than the school fees charged by the government which established the schools.
Citing examples of PTA collections which had become higher than school fees charged by government, the minister gave the examples of Kings College, Lagos and the Federal Science and Technical College, Yaba in Lagos where the fees charged by the government for JSS1 pupils in the first term was N69, 400.00, while the PTA collections stood at N70,000.00 and N74,000 respectively per child.
“This brings the total amount paid by parents in these two schools to N139,400 and N143,400 respectively. With the reduction on development levies and ban on charges for new projects as well as the pegging of the development levy to a maximum of N5,000, parents of JSS1 pupils in these two schools will now pay N88,000.
“While acknowledging the complementary roles played by parents and the support provided by the PTA to the colleges, the education minister said he would not allow the PTAs to constitute themselves into a government within a government at the level of the Unity Schools and at the expense of parents.”
Adamu said the government viewed with grave concern the activities of PTAs in Unity Colleges, which had even formed themselves into national associations, instead of limiting themselves to the schools attended by their children.
According to the minister, establishing association, increases the burden on parents and would not be able to differentiate between government charges and PTA levies.