By Our correspondent
A guardian of some orphans at Ozalla Primary School( name withheld) has lamented how the school authorities sent home his wards for not paying school fees.
Complaining to our correspondent, the guardian said the children of his late brother, and other pupils of the school were sent home about a week ago for not paying school fees of N4,500 each.
Recall that the State Governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, had about a month ago, announced free and compulsory education from nursery to junior secondary school (JSS 3) in public ( government) schools in the state.
Soludo said his administration was passionate about achieving an all-inclusive education in Anambra.
The governor said no child within the school age from nursery to JSS 3 should be charged school fees or any other fees to acquire education in the state, adding,
“The aim is to go back to the basics when education was used as the equalizer, such that children from poor and rich backgrounds will attend the same school and compete favourably.
“Children of school age will no longer be deprived of access to quality education.
Education from nursery to JSS is free and compulsory in the state.”
But speaking with our correspondent, the guardian of the orphans at Ozalla Primary School Ifitedunu, said, “As I’m talking to you my brother’s children no longer go to school. . They were asked to pay N4,500 each as school fees for those in the primary school session of the school and N2000 for those in nursery school.
“They were chased away from the school before weekend. The father of the children broke spinal cord in an accident and died in the process.
“We are struggling to help the children. They are still tender. They are in Basic 1( Primary 1). The children are orphans. So many other children of the school were also sent home by the school for same reason.
Efforts to get the reaction of the State Commissioner for Education, Prof Ngozi Chuma- Udeh on the matter failed as she did not pick her calls nor respond to a WhatsApp message sent to her by our correspondent in that respect.
However, the press secretary to the governor, Mr Christian Aburime, in his reaction said, “The Governor has said that no pupil in government public school should pay a dime. It’s tuition free and all manners of levies are not to be charged.
“So, if there is any headmaster/headmistress or whatever designation in violation of that order, then should they face the consequences.
“If you can tell us the name of the school, the head of the school, then appropriate action will be taken because is a clear violation of Governor Soludo’s directive .
” Every Anambra Child who is in public school, from primary 1 to JSS3 are not supposed to pay any form of fees or charges, whatsoever. So anybody in violation of that will have to face the consequences for disobeying the directive of the governor.”