Commissioner Warns School Heads Over Extortion


The Commissioner for Education in Abia, Dr. Monica Philips, has warned that school heads, who collect more than N500 as Parents Teachers Association (PTA) levy per term would be penalised.

Philips gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Umuahia on Sunday.

Philips said the Abia Government was implementing a free and compulsory primary and secondary education policy.

“The policy include free tuition, as well as free supply of education materials and as such nobody has the right to collect money from school children under any guise.”

She added that the state government equally complements the effort of the Universal Basic Education Board with regular supply of education materials to ensure effective education system.

The commissioner said that the Ministry of Education would “not tolerate any attempt by fraudulent elements to drag the good intention of Governor Theodore Orji in the mud.

“Any school head that collects more than N500 as PTA in a term from a student has contravened what government approved as a levy in a public school and government will view such as fraudulent.”

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She noted that “the approval of a token as PTA was in line with government’s community partnership in the management of public schools.

“The Ministry of Education and the community partnership is for proper training of children.

“For this reason, government approved the collection of a little money (N500) to pay security personnel and cleaners.”

The commissioner said that levies on school children must be minimal, noting that government frowns at any extortion.

She warned teachers from collecting monies and toiletries from children, stressing that “apart from collecting craft materials like baskets, brooms and rope, no teacher has the right to collect other things from the children.

“Such attitude defeats the intention of having craft in the school curriculum.”

Philips also urged parents and guardians to report cases of extortion and any other act capable of jeopardising government’s intention for quality education in the state.

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