The state government also said at no point in time in the 8 years of Governor Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola-led administration was any school fees charged in public primary and secondary schools.
In a statement signed by the state’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Adelani Baderinwa, Osun government said, however, that the only payment done in schools in the state is an “Education Trust Levy (ETL), which is N500 per term for pupils/students in both public and private schools in the state.”
The statement reads thus:
“It has come to the attention of the state government of Osun, the rumour that some pupils and students of public schools in the state are being sent out of classroom for non-payment of school fees.
“The government wishes to state categorically that at no time in the life of almost 8 year-old Aregbesola’s administration is school fees charged in the public schools.
Also, there is no pupil/students is driven out of school for non-payment of school fee and none should be sent out for anything like school fees.
“For the purpose of emphasis, the administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has not and is not charging any fee in the public school as being rumoured and spread by members of the opposition party.
“Governor Rauf Aregbesola had promised to provide free, qualitative and functional education since inception of his administration. This he had done since inception till date which he even reiterated as recent as the event of the presentation of year 2018 budget to the State House of Assembly.
“To set the record straight, what is obtainable in Osun education system is the payment of Education Trust Levy (ETL), which is N500 per term for pupils/students in both public and private schools in the state.
“With the completion of the state of the art elementary, middle and high schools, the government introduced School Infrastructure Maintenance Levy (SIML), the circular of which was issued in January 2017. The SIML is payable by pupils/students in the newly constructed elementary, middle and high schools only.
“For pupils in the newly constructed or rehabilitated elementary schools which are 20 in number, they are to pay a sum of N2000 per annum. This sum, if divided by three, would give us N666.6 per term.
“Students in the new Middle schools (of which 25 have been completed) are expected to pay N3000 per annum, which gives us N1000 per term if divided by three.
“For the newly constructed High schools, students are to pay N6000 per annum; if this amount is divided into three, it means each student would pay N2000 per term as School Infrastructure Maintenance Levy.
“Going by the explanation above, it is obvious that the levy is not in any way proportionate to the value of the education infrastructure put in place by the Aregbesola’s administration, and not enough to maintain the infrastructure.
The levy just serves as commitment and sense of belonging for the parents of pupils in the new schools. It is on record that since the levy was introduced in 2017, some parents have been paying while some have not.
“The government has been persuading and appealing to parents and guardians on the need to pay the levy.
“While the levy is being misconceived by some people, members of the opposition have built propaganda and lies round it to atrociously misinform members of the public and cause hatred for the government.
“Political sentiments should not be place above genuine interest of the State, particularly when it comes to securing assured future for the pupils and school children through provision of qualitative and functional education.
“It is the civil responsibility of the parents to pay and support the promotion of functional education and help further, the infrastructure development drive by Aregbesola’s administration.
“The government urges parents and guardians to as a matter of duty and responsiveness pay the levies to support the future of their wards and genuine efforts of government.”