Anambra Commissioner for Education, Prof. Kate Omenugha, has called on parents and guardians in the state to take advantage of the free education in the state and enrol their children in public schools.
Omenugha gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Awka on Thursday.
She said that those who felt that charges in private schools were high, should patronise public schools.
“The government is not doing anything about the cost of private schools, we have public schools which are of high standards and free.
“Those who wish to send their children to private schools should be ready to pay.
“And those who cannot, should enrol in public schools, the only thing is that we will not tolerate abuse in the content,” she said.
Omenugha said no fewer than three principals of public secondary schools were currently being investigated for collecting levies that had since been declared illegal.
She said the government had warned teachers and heads of public schools in the state against collecting some fees and levies from students and their parents.
According to the commissioner, the three indicted principals, whose identities were not disclosed, had been suspended.
“We have consistently warmed the principals against collecting unauthorised levies in public schools
“And the three principals of secondary schools who were indicted are now under serious investigation because they ran foul of government directive.
“If you do not have approval to collect, certain fees and levies and you do so, you are culpable.
“Even PTA levies must be approved by the ministry and the fund must be managed by the parent themselves,” she said.
Omenugha said the home grown school feeding in Anambra, which commenced on Dec. 8, would boost education in the state.
She said the programme would take care of the pupils in basic classes 1 to 3 in the first phase, while it would be extended to those in basic classes 4 to 6 later.
According to the commissioner , the feeding programme will create direct jobs for no fewer than 1,046 people and many more indirectly.
The commissioner added that the meals were rich in nutrition and carefully selected to boost the health of the pupils.
“It will also attract more children to school because most of them don’t go to school because they are hungry.
“It is also an employment and wealth generation programme because each of the 1,046 public primary schools in Anambra will have at least one caterer supplying food.
“And these caterers will also have those supplying them with ingredients,’’ Omenugha said.