FG to Dialogue with Parents Over School Fees Increase- Minister
The Minister for State for Education, Hon Yusuf Tanko Sununu has said that the Federal Government (FG) will negotiate with Parent Teachers Association (PTA) to resolve the issue of increment in school fees in federal government schools in Nigeria.
The minister who spoke at the a press briefing in Abuja on Friday to mark the International Day to Protect Education from Attack in Abuja reiterated that the ministry will set up a committee that will arrive at an agreement with PTA.
The FG had recently through the management of Federal Government Colleges announced increment in payable fees in the various unity colleges across the country.
The fee hike had elicited public outcry which later culminated into a resolution of the House of Representatives mandating the FG to rescind its decision in the wake of the excruciating effect of the removal of petrol subsidy which as thrown most Nigerian family deeper into poverty.
Speaking at the Abuja event on Friday, however, the Hon Sununu agreed that the FG and parents must dialogue to avoid unnecessary attacks on the schools and the system.
“The constitution expressly states free education but with a caveat, ‘when government can afford’ and that is why it also comes as voluntary contributions by all stakeholders.
“When we say safety in schools, it is a collective responsibility. So we are going to encourage formal negotiations.
“Where we cannot provide, it is to encourage PTA and relevant institutions so that we can agree to a term that is acceptable to all of us.
“Also, we will encourage a lot of partnerships as part of areas that can bring peace. Whether we agree or not, we must appreciate the role of PTAs in sustaining services in lots of our schools at both local and federal levels.
“So, while we do that with scarce resources, at the ministry level, we try to see how we can block leakages and see how more funds can be available to schools to ensure that quality education is affordable, acceptable to every Nigerian without decreasing the quality of education.”