The Muslim Students Society of Nigeria, Lagos State area unit has called on the Lagos State Government to reverse the N10, 000 registration charges for computer-based test for 2015/2016 admissions into junior secondary schools.
In a statement by its president, Kaamil Kalejaiye, the group said it was not ideal for the Lagos State government to ask parents to pay such charges.
According to the statement, Mr. Kalejaiye said the burden of bringing quality or change in the education system should not be placed on parents.
“Lagos State is at it again with their anti-masses educational policy,” he said.
“Why must the parents always pay for things that government should do, it seems Lagos government has misplaced its priority?”
Mr. Kalejaiye added that it was not the parents’ duty to sponsor educational innovation, unless voluntarily. He said it was absurd to hear the Commissioner of Education, Olayinka Olajundoye, asking parents to pay.
“Why is Lagos government always running from 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,” she said.
He said all these policies have made the educational system scary and mostly anti-masses,
The society also accused the state government of not judiciously utilising the $90million (N13.5 billion) education loan it got from the World Bank.
“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 voter’s right,” he said.
The society appealed to the government to cancel the charges for majority of the pupils to benefit.
“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 and indirectly,” she said
The Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Oladunjoye, had in a said two versions of the screening tests – computer-based and pencil-based would be adopted for the 2015/2016.
Mrs. Oladunjoye said that parents and guardians were expected to pay N10, 000 to designated banks, after which candidates would be registered through a customized compact disc issued by the State Examination Board.