The head teacher of Okotie Eboh Primary School in Sapele, Delta State, who sent one Miss Success home for not paying her school fees has been suspended by the state government.
The video of the little Miss Success who wished to be flogged instead of being sent home drew sharp criticism from the public.
However, some good samaritan visited the her and gave her huge sums of money while others pledged to sponsor her education up to University level.
But the Delta State government through the commissioner for education, Chiedu Ebie, said that the school has no right to chase her away over school fees as she is not mandated to pay any fee.
According to the commissioner, “Since the video of Miss Success of Okotie Eboh Primary School, Sapele broke and went viral last Friday, I have been inundated with messages and calls primarily for two reasons:
i. The state of the infrastructure of the School.
ii. The unauthorised levies and fees unilaterally imposed on the pupils by the School vis a vis a child being sent away from school with the added threat of being flogged for inability to pay ‘school’ fees.
Over the weekend, we conducted preliminary investigations on the matter ahead of my trip to Sapele today Monday 18th March, 2019 to officially address the matter. For purposes of clarity and to address the initial issues which the video threw up, I state as follows:
1. That by virtue of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) Act, Education at the Basic Education Level is FREE. However in Delta State that provision is also extended to Senior Secondary Level with the resultant effect being that Basic and Secondary Education (primary, junior and secondary) in Delta State is and still remains FREE.
It therefore means that the Head Teacher of the School had no right to impose any levy or fees on the pupils of her School. In my brief encounter with the Head Teacher this morning, there appeared to be numerous inconsistencies in her response on this issue as she was unable to categorically state who authorized her to impose the levies or fees which is in clear breach of the extant rules. Consequently I have directed the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) to suspend the Head Teacher pending the outcome of a formal enquiry into the issue of unauthorized levies/ and fees imposed by her in the School.
2. On the state of the infrastructure; it is important to clarify that Okotie Eboh Primary Schools I and II, Sapele exist in two locations in the same neighborhood and within a minute’s walk of each other. Having discovered the dilapidated state of the infrastructure in the Schools, steps were immediately taken by the State Government, through the Ministry of Basic & Secondary Education, to carry out a phased renovation and upgrade of the infrastructural facilities beginning with Okotie Eboh Primary School II. It is important to place on record and for the avoidance of doubt that the Contract of the first phase was awarded on the 29th of December, 2018 and work has since commenced.
As a responsible and responsive government, it is our duty to address issues that affect the citizenry of the State and in doing so, we will ensure that renovation works are carried out satisfactorily and within reasonable time to ensure that we continue to provide a conducive learning environment for our pupils and students.
Since the inception of this administration, the Delta State Government through the Ministry of Basic & Secondary Education and its parastatals have carried out the Construction/Renovation of 4,738 Classrooms in addition to rehabilitating and repositioning the six Technical Colleges in the State”