Anambra State Chapter of the South East APC Young Progressives Forum has criticized the State Governor, Prof Charles Soludo’s free education policy.
Convener of the group, Mr Pascal Candle in a press release said: “We have watched with dismay as the Executive Governor of Anambra State, Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo flagged off what he described as ‘free and qualitative education across all government-owned nursery, primary and junior secondary school classes in Anambra State’.
“According to the governor, all fees, dues and levies running into several thousand hitherto being paid by students in these basic education classes have now been scrapped.
“We are therefore perplexed on how Governor Soludo will launch with fanfare a programme that has been supposed to be existing since 2004.
” Let’s assume Governor Soludo met a practice on ground where students in primary 1-6 and JSS 1-3 that were not meant to pay any fees were made to pay illegal fees in violation of the UBE Act (as domesticated by Anambra State), why did it take him a year and 5 months to put a stop to it.
“Let us make it clear to Ndi Anambra, The official declaration of the purported free and qualitative education for students in nursery and basic classes (covering Primary 1 to JSS 3) and the attendant joy is not about “tuition fees” as this has long been made free by the previous administrations starting from Dr Chris NGIGE down to Governor Obiano.
“Before today and in spite of the tuition free regimes, a Primary school pupil in a public school in Anambra State pays 1,500 to 3,000 Naira per term depending on the school and location of the School.”
The group said there are items that are paid for in Anambra schools, despite the free education policy.
“This long list of these illegal levies totaling about 10 items covered such dues as; exam fees, portal fees, library fees, etc.
“They asked if government would also provide books and pay for the PTA levies of the pupil.
“This is crucial because education is not just about going to school but having instructional materials to learn with. We are aware that most primary schools and many secondary schools in Anambra lack decent school libraries without adequate textbooks for the students to use.
“We therefore ask Governor Soludo to give specific answers to the SCOPE of the free basic education he reintroduced. This is for the sake of accountability and transparency.”
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