Kogi to Sanction Principals Charging Fees in Public Schools 

Wemi Jones

The Kogi State Government has vowed to sanction secondary school principals or head teachers of public primary schools who sabotage its free education policy.

The government position was made known by the state Commissioner for Education, Wemi Jones.

Mr Jones gave the warning on Monday at the 2024 Children’s Day celebration held at Muhammad Buhari Square, Lokoja.

Mr Jones emphasised that public schools remained tuition free, saying “any principal or head teacher who smuggles fees into the system does so at his or her peril.”

The commissioner warned that erring officials would be severely punished and advised parents and students to report erring officials to the authorities.

He stressed that the government had prioritised education and given the needed attention to its functional growth.

Mr Jones maintained that since the assumption of office of the immediate past and present administrations, education had been at the front burner of its thematic areas of concentration.

He noted that the administration had successfully enacted education law which exempted students and pupils from payment of both internal and external examinations.

He added that the examinations covered include WAEC, NECO, NABTEB, JAMB, BECE and others and advised parents and students to report any infraction from their schools.

“No student is allowed to pay fees in any guise. Both internal examinations and public examinations are free. I call on parents and students to report any erring principals: we are resolute to punish them accordingly,” he said.

He added that in line with the philosophy to guarantee qualitative education, government had approved 30 per cent of budgetary allocation to the sector, “far above the UNESCO recommended 26 per cent.”

According to him, the education trajectory of the administration surpassed previous governments before 2016, with the investment restoring confidence in the public schools in the state.

He said that for proper planning, the free fees are targeted at public schools for now.

“Private schools will be considered in the future, he said.

Mr Jones advised students to justify the investment outlay on them by taking their studies seriously, even as extracurricular activities could be an added advantage.

He used the occasion to mourn the two students who lost their lives during the recent abduction of students of Confluence University of Science and Technology, Osara.

The students were among the 25 students kidnapped in the school by bandits who invaded the institution around 9.00 p.m on May 9.

In her remarks, the wife of the governor, Sefinat Ododo, while reviewing the march past by students, said children were the heartbeat of any nation as they were destined to be leaders of tomorrow.

Mrs Ododo, represented by the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Fatimah Momoh, stressed the need to harness the children’s talents at early ages.

She said, “The theme of this year’s celebration – Enhancing the total wellbeing of the Nigerian child through education and skills development,’’ is apt in the role children play in shaping the future of the country.’’

She noted that Kogi State had been meticulous in allocating high resources to the sector, guaranteeing qualitative and people-centric education to the citizens.

According to her, the government is committed to quality education for all children.

He charged parents and stakeholders to ensure that students attained their full potential.

She urged students to be stars of today and tomorrow, and to avoid acts detrimental to their education progression.

On her part, the Deputy Speaker, Kogi House of Assembly, Comfort Egwaba, admonished students to maintain their position as the pride of the nation.

She assured them that Governor Ahmed Ododo would continue to mobilise resources for the transformation of the education sector in the state.

The highlights of the Children’s Day celebration included march past, callisthenics display, carnival shows, music and dance, among others.


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