By Ismaeel Uthman
Government of the State of Osun has refuted the rumours that pupils and students of public schools in the state were being sent out of classrooms for non-payment of school fees.
The government claimed that it does not charge school fees in any public schools in the state since inception of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola government in 2010.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Adelani Baderinwa, saying that the pupils are only charged “Education Trust Levy (ETL) of N500 per term.
He said: “To set the record straight, what is obtainable in Osun education system is the payment of Education Trust Levy (ETL), which is N500 per term for pupils/students in both public and private schools in the state”.
He further stated that government has also introduced “School Infrastructure Maintenance Levy (SIML)” with a view to taking care of the facilities in the newly constructed schools.
“With the completion of the state-of-art elementary, middle and high schools, the government introduced School Infrastructure Maintenance Levy (SIML), the circular of which was issued in January 2017. The SIML is payable by pupils/students in the newly constructed elementary, middle and high schools only”.
“For pupils in the newly constructed or rehabilitated elementary schools which are 20 in number, they are to pay a sum of N2000 per annum. This sum, if divided by three, would give us N666.6 per term.”
“Students in the new Middle schools (of which 25 have been completed) are expected to pay N3000 per annum, which gives us N1000 per term if divided by three.”
“For the newly constructed High schools, students are to pay N6000 per annum; if this amount is divided into three, it means each student would pay N2000 per term as School Infrastructure Maintenance Levy.”
Adelani said that the levy just serves as commitment and sense of belonging for the parents of pupils in the new schools as the levies are inadequate to maintain the facilities, urging parents and guardians to see it as their “civic responsibility to pay and support the promotion of functional education and help further, the infrastructure development drive by Aregbesola’s administration”.
He alleged that while the levy is being misconceived by some people, members of opposition have built “propaganda and lies around it to atrociously misinform members of the public and cause hatred for the government”.
The Commissioner said that “Political sentiments should not be placed above genuine interest of the State, particularly when it comes to securing assured future for the pupils and school children through provision of qualitative and functional education” while further reassuring the government’s resolve to provide “free, qualitative and functional education.”