Legal Nigeria

Rivers govt suspends 2 principals over collection of illegal levies

Two principals of Rivers State Government-owned Secondary Schools have been suspended indefinitely over an alleged illegal collection of various levies from parents.

The Executive Chairman of Universal Basic Education Board in Rivers State, Fyneface Akah announced their suspension in Port Harcourt.

The principals presided over the Community Secondary in Rumuagholu and the Senior Secondary section of the Community School, Okoro-Nu-Odo in the Obio Akpor Local Government Area.

Dr. Akah directed all Head Teachers and Principals who have collected such illegal charges to refund parents immediately or face the consequences.

He emphasized that basic education remains free in Rivers State and the state government is committed to providing a conducive environment for teaching and learning.

Parents whose children attend Public schools had recently complained to journalists about the huge financial burdens they were facing as their children and wards are resuming new classes in this academic session.

Some of the parents who volunteered to speak to journalists said they are paying between N20,000 and N30,000 for items such as uniforms, notebooks and other materials.

Our correspondent reports that the suspension of the two Principals was a fallout from the meeting of Rivers State Ministry of Education with the principals of public schools following reports of collection of illegal fees in some schools.

During the meeting, Rivers State Commissioner for Education, Prof. Chinedu Mmom, insisted that education in public schools in the state is free.

Prof Mmom warned that any school principal or headmaster caught collecting illegal charges from students will face the full wrath of the government.

He added that the parents should only pay for the school uniform and feeding of their children.

However, some Principals who spoke on condition of anonymity lamented that while the Ministry has been insisting that no money should be collected, the state government is not providing imprest and materials to run the schools.