Fashola blows $90M World Bank education loan, charges N10,000 for entrance exam.
Lagos state Governor, Babtunde Fashola has been criticized for asking parents to pay N10,000 as registration charges for their wards for computer-based test for 2015/2016 admissions into junior secondary schools.
The state government was also condemned for not judiciously utilising the $90million (N13.5 billion) education loan it got from World Bank.
This positions were contained in a statement by the Muslim Students' Society of Nigeria .
It would be recalled that the Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye, had in a statement on Friday said two versions of the screening tests – computer-based and pencil-based – would be adopted for the 2015/2016.
Lamentably, she added that parents and guardians were expected to pay N10,000 to designated banks, after which candidates would be registered through a customised compact disc issued by the State Examination Board.
The society, who appreciated the initiative, faulted the high price tag placed on in a press statement signed by its Amir (President) of the society, Kaamil Kalejaiye.
MSSN LSAU said the burden of bringing quality or change in the education system should not be placed on parents.
The students-based organisation also described as “scary” the educational policies of the LASG, pointing out that the government hardly gives out any educational benefit for free.
It said, “Lagos State is at it again with their anti-masses educational policy. Why must the parents always pay for things that government should do. It seems #Lagos government has misplaced it's priority. It is not parents right to sponsor educational innovation, unless if voluntary. It sounds absurd to read the the commissioner of education is asking parents to pay.
“Why is Lagos government always running for its responsibilities when it comes to education? The fear is that this just the beginning, very soon the LASG may begin to ask parents in public schools to start paying 'token' school fees. This may not come directly but with another obscured tag. This is possible because we have seen high fee regime happened in the state university, polytechnic and colleges of education. All these have made the educational policies of LASG scary and mostly anti-masses.”
It added, “If the World Bank grant has been judiciously managed, the idea of looting parents by asking them to pay would not have come. Why should parents be asked to pay despite the huge loan. Our government must wake up to their duties and respect voters right.
“This is another violation and disrespect of rights. Earlier, the government denied Muslim pupils of wearing #Hijab in public schools, which we will not relent on getting (the Hijab right) restored; now it is indirectly asking their parents to pay for Junior school entrance examination in disguise of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) charges.”
The society, however, appealed to the government to cancel the charges for majority of the pupils to benefit.
“We call on stakeholders in the #LASG education sector to intervene. Lagos should be a leading state for quality and free education but policies like this will make that impossible. We need to realise that the parents that are charged are tax payers. This should be one of the benefits they should derive for paying tax both directly or indirectly,” the statement said
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