‘Don’t pay illegal fees to register in Lagos schools’

By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie

 

Community members have been told not to give in to demands for illegal fees from head teachers when enrolling out of school children in school.

They were told to report illegal fees they are requested to pay to the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LASUBEB) at a training organised by the Human Development Initiatives for grassroots stakeholders on monitoring basic education projects.

The programme tagged One-Day Tracking Campaign (ODTC) was attended by members of School-Based Management Committee (SBMC), Parents Forum (PF) and some grassroots stakeholders, including artisans, on Monday and Tuesday at the R&A City Hotel, Ikeja.

While sensitising participants on their roles of in ending the out-of-school crisis, HDI Human Resource Officer, Ms. Bola Dare, said the NGO usually assists in picking children off the streets and sending them back to school and pays no fees.  She encouraged them to help get children who drop out back to school.

However, some of the participants said head teachers used to demand for registration fees – sometimes as much as N10,000, or ask them to pay for uniforms or supply uniforms for the new pupils – a commitment they may be unable to make.

 

Responding, Ms. Dare urged the participants to refer pupils in need of support to HDI or other NGOs that operate in such communities. Nevertheless, she told them they should not pay unapproved fees to head teachers.  She said LASUBEB only charged fees for children transferring from private to public school or from outside the state.

“When we had a day out with the Chairman, he said any school where you are asked to pay, report the school to SUBEB.  HDI usually takes children to school and we don’t pay. We only buy uniforms and other things the children need.  If you are taking children from the streets in Lagos State, you should not pay,” she said.

She urged the participants to monitor projects in schools in their community to ensure contractors do good jobs.

A second session by Mr Edidi Ayodeji, an engineer, exposed the participants to the basics of building construction so they are able to assess the quality of infrastructural projects.

Executive Director of HDI, Mrs. Olufunso Owasanoye said the training was to get more community members involved in ensuring that all children go to school.

“If we want to go with the Lagos law of leaving no child behind, we found out that they are still some children in the streets. And to support this initiative we decide to add artisans because they too they live in the communities so that we can sensitize them to support in bringing these children back to school,” she said.

 


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