By Lere Olayinka
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Claim by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi that his government has paid the fees of public schools' pupils preparing for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) has been described as shameful and an insult on the collective intellects of Ekiti people, who have not paid a dime on their children's WASSCE and National Examination Council

(NECO) examination in the last four years.
Chief Media Aide to Chief Olusegun Oni, former governor of Ekiti State, Mr Wale OJo-Lanre, who was reacting to newspaper reports that the Fayemi-led government had paid the WASSCE fees and as such, parents and guardians should not bother themselves paying the fees, noted that; “Fayemi has not done anything new by paying the WASSCE fees and we hope that he would also continue with the payment of NECO and JAMB forms for the students.”

“When Fayemi assumed office, he promised free education from primary to secondary school levels and we challenged him then to tell Ekiti people what aspect of education at primary and secondary school levels were not free that he wanted to make free. And if part of the free education that he made so much noise about is payment of WASSCE fees that no one was paying before, we cannot but laugh.

“To put the records straight, as at Friday, October 15, 2010 that Chief Segun Oni's government was terminated, only students of boarding schools in Ekiti State were paying N10.500 for feeding (per term) while no fee was paid in other schools (both primary and secondary).

“Apart from non-payment of tuition fees, free textbooks were provided while WASSCE and NECO fees were paid by the government. Free JAMB forms plus 16-week coaching was also provided for all qualified students. In 2008 and 2009 alone, 4,750 students benefitted from the free JAMB forms and 16-week training programme.

“Furthermore, free VSAT connected laptops were distributed to students of boarding schools while pupils of primary schools in Ekiti State have been enjoying free egg and cocoa drink twice in a week, under the School Feeding Programme.

“Therefore, Fayemi and his clueless men should stop assaulting the sensibilities of Ekiti people with their one-exercise-per-civil servant education policy. They should rather tell Ekiti people what new package they have for them, instead of embarking on self glorification and deceit.

“Once again, let Fayemi and his propagandists be reminded that payment of WASSCE, NECO and JAMB fees was already a tradition in Ekiti before they assumed office. Therefore, they should do something new!”