A mild drama ensued at the Family Support Nursery and Primary School Calabar, Cross River State, on Thursday, as parents booed the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs Edak Iwuchukwu, and staged a walk out on her.
Iwuchukwu, whose ministry oversees the running of the school, was accused of arbitrarily hiking tuition without due regard for the parents.
Besides, the parents were angry over the inability of the school to organise an agreed send-off party for graduating pupils despite paying N1,000 each for this purpose.
The parents alleged that the fees for nursery and primary school pupils were increased in the 2012/2013 session from N8,000 per child to between N24,500 and N26,500, excluding other charges, without due consultation with the Parent Teacher Association of the school.
The situation got out of hand when the commissioner was invited to pacify the parents after a heated argument over the school’s inability to hold a graduation ceremony.
The Commissioner received harsh words from the parents who also staged a walk out on her during a meeting she was holding with them.
Iwuchukwu advised parents who could not afford the new fee to withdraw their children from the school.
She said, “This school is not a charity organisation. If you do not know, government expects revenue from the schools.
“You people are complaining about the increase in teachers’ emolument, whereas only one-third of the 300 pupils paid school fees.”
Infuriated by the commissioner’s comment, some angry parents staged a walk-out, while others who remained booed at her and left her talking to the directors.
Earlier, the PTA Chairman, Mr. Eyibio Okon, had complained that the parents were particularly aggrieved that the commissioner had refused to release funds to the school authority for the conduct of the terminal examination, as well as for the graduation ceremony even when a greater number of the parents had paid their children’s fees.
He said contrary to the commissioner’s claim, about 70 per cent of the pupils had paid their fees.
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