Be wary of fake govt officials, SUBEB warns
By Dayo Adesulu, Elizabeth Uwandu & Kelechukwu Iruoma
It is rather appalling to note that while schools are expected to proceed on vacation tomorrow, several pupils seeking admission into Lagos public schools did not start the term with their mates, because according to them, the State Government failed to release their names for admission in the past three months. As a result, many of the pupils were seen either running errands at home for their parents, loitering the streets or visiting recreation centres.
The scenario led Vanguard Learning to make enquiries from some affected students.
Parents and students who spoke with Vanguard Learning accused many public schools in Lagos State of collecting between N10,000 and N20,000 to admit students into their schools, adding that after payment three months ago, their wards are still at home without admission.
Apart from parents accusing head teachers of collecting N10,000 to admit their wards in their schools, one gullible parent among them also claimed that she gave a proprietor of a private school N20,000 with a promise of fixing her child in a Lagos public school.
Ordinarily, parents seeking admission for their children in Lagos public schools ought to have gone through the State Universal Basic Education Board and pay N1,000 into a designated account.
However, while some of the parents described the registration process as cumbersome, others said the inability of the Lagos State Government to release their names made their children stay at home or engage in various activities.
For Mrs Bimbo Amuda, her 11-year-old Daniel Amuda who ought to be in Junior Secondary School One (JSS1), has continued to stay with her in her shop. According to her, this has made her a laughing stock as some neighbours accused her of abusing her son’s right to education.
She lamented that despite paying a sum of N10,000 to the headmaster of her son’s primary school, (Peculiar Private School at Old Ojo Road) and her son sitting for the Common Entrance examination, three months after, her son’s name is yet to be released.
She said: “I have been called all sorts of names because of my son, Daniel who I have to bring along to my shop while his mates are in school studying, to avoid him getting into trouble at home.
“I paid N10,000 to Daniel’s primary school proprietor who promised to work his posting into a public secondary school.
Even after Uncle Seun, as popularly called, fixed my son into Ceclear Nursery and Primary School for the Common Entrance examination, his name is yet to be released after three months.’’
On their part, the trio of Pelumi David of Favour Nursery and Primary School; Daniel Obikwe of Asarudeen Primary School and MukailaTaiwo said they daily went to the Stadium to skate due to delay in their admission.
“We are friends about to enter JSS One .We come here every day to skate or do other things like run errand for the adults here who give us little change to enjoy ourselves. This is because our names have not be released,”said Favour.
Narrating her travails, Mrs Bright Ufot said: “It is a pity that my child who was staying with my late elder sister in Ogudu after attending a private school had to stay at home doing nothing based on the fact that an official in Eric Moore Junior High School demanded for N20,000 to include his name in the admission list of the state government.
‘’This is not registration fee. However, I was told that my son’s name may take six months to come out or might not even come out eventually.
‘’So, why charge such money when he was not even sure his name will come out? Do you think if I had N20,000 I will allow him go to public school? Joel will continue to stay at home till I raise the money to put him in one of these small private secondary schools.’’
Moreover, a Senior Secondary student, Israel Tijani said his name has not been released after registering in August. He said after waiting for weeks, his mother decided to enrol him in another school because their contact person could not enrol him into a government school.
He said: “While I was waiting for my name to be out, my uncle said he knew someone who could assist in putting me in State High School, Iyana Ipaja. The woman did her best but couldn’t help out in the transfer.
“She said the possibility of my name coming out is very slim as she was also trying to enrol three of her children into the same school.”
Israel who couldn’t state how much his uncle gave to the contact woman, said after waiting for five weeks and the woman couldn’t do anything, my mother had to enrol me in a private school in November.
He said: “It wasn’t a thing of joy staying at home without learning for weeks. Many times, when everybody had gone out of the house, I would remain at home, reading my books without being tutored.”
Reacting to the claim that some pupils’ names were not yet released after three months of resumption, the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, Public Relations Officer, Mr Seyi Akitoye said that names of students who took the Common Entrance examination in June had been released since August.
He explained that even those from private schools who wanted transfer into public secondary schools had since been released in August.
Akitoye, however warned the public to be wary of those who claim that the government or its officials demanded for money to transfer or buy one form or the other. He said:”I can tell you that the Lagos State SUBEB which is basically concerned with basic education up to basic six will never demand or collect any money for transfer from anyone.
“What is applicable is that those who sought to do transfer that run between August 1st to Sept 1st are told to pay a token of N1,000 for public primary school to another public school or N2000 for private school to public primary school. While N5,000 and N10,000 for state and international transfers;
“And mind you, this token is not collected in cash rather, they are told to pay it into Wema Bank and the teller brought to SUBEB for the collection of receipt for onward procession. So, parents should be careful when dealing with the so-called Lagos State officials,” added the Lagos State SUBEB PRO.