Civil Society Action Coalition on Education For All (CSACEFA) has expressed worries at the flagrant disobedience to government policies on free, quality and accessible education for all.
The group alleged that few self-serving public servants, obstruct palliative measures by conniving with PTA, to extort money from parents by way of charging levies.
This, according to them, contravenes the UBE Act 2004 Part 1 3&4 which compels parents to enrol their wards and warns against any form of charges which attracts a fine of N10,000 or imprisonment.
CSACEFA maintained that the government is intentional with some initiatives ranging from the homegrown school feeding programme to the conditional cash transfers all aimed at addressing the problem which don’t seem to salvage the situation as there is a loud outcry from those concerned.
In a statement signed by Focal Person CSACEFA-FCT, Abdullahi Sale, is calling on government, regulators and PTA to check this unfortunate happening around the sector with a view to ending the menace.
Going further, the group also called on schools monitoring team to intensify action in clamping down on those flaunting the orders and sanction erring schools in accordance with the UBE Act 2004.
‘He said, ‘This intervention in itself should have taken care of the situation at hand if properly managed.
”Now that schools have opened, the civil society actors and concerned Nigerians are worried at the flagrant disobedience to government policies, the obstruction of palliative measures by a few self-serving public servants who connive with PTA to extort money from parents by way of charging levies which contravenes the UBE Act 2004 Part 1 3&4 which compels parents to enrol their wards of bed convicted and warns against any form of charges which attracts a fine of N10,000 or imprisonment.
”The disregard for this act has been identified as a major factor responsible for the high rate of out of children.
”It has been established that many parents were unable to get their wards back to school because of charges ranging from sanitation, Uniforms, books, development levy etc. as against the free education pronounced by government.
”Of concern is the N1,500 collected as explained by the Secretary of NAPTAN FCT who justified it as “project fee” saying it is in accordance with the approval of the FCT Executive council towards enhancing the school’s facilities system, thereby ensuring efficient and conducive learning environment.
”As parents ourselves, we have been harassed and intimidated by culprits who threaten us and make us think they are doing us a favour.
”Our stance on the collection of any form of fees in whatever guise is that it negates government directive and is inimical to the achievement of providing education for all,” he said.
In conclusion, he said the group remain resolute in its cause for a free, quality and accessible education for all, as this is the only way we can develop as a nation.
”Let this serve as a reminder for all schools that education is made free and we are all responsible for bringing children back to school.
”Members of CSACEFA FCT will join hands with the UBEB in achieving the slogan “education for all the responsibility of all.”