By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoaâ€”Against the backdrop of mounting complaints by parents over alleged extortion by heads of public schools in Bayelsa State,Â the Ministry of Education yesterday cleared the air on the controversy, saying it only authorised the collection of N1,000 as fees for science practical examination.
The state government had warned that any principal that charged anything above the authorised amount did so at the detriment of his job.
The concerned parents, who stormed media houses in protest against the development, expressed worry that their wards might be barred from writing the practical examinations for Physics, Chemistry, Agricultural Science and Biology.
The aggrieved parents were particularly disturbed by the blanket fee of N1,000 imposed on all candidates sitting for the West African Senior Secondary School Examination (WAEC) and National Examination Council, NECO.
The position of the principals, it was learnt, might be in connection with their experience last session when they had to raise loans from parents and other public spirited members of the public to enable them get the necessary equipment for the examination.
The request for a refund from the government to offset the loans led to a bitter feud with the Nigeria Union of Teachers last year.
But the Commissioner of Education, Chief Josephine Ezonbodor, through her Press Officer, Mr. Ade Bakare, yesterday cleared the air on the matter, saying only science students were expected to pay the fees for practical examination.
The ministry, she explained, had paid the examination fees for all the students in the stateâ€™s public schools the way it did the previous sessions.