By Violet Fanseh
There are indications that the Cross River State Ministry of Education is persistent in the extortion of primary school pupils in the state despite claims by the State Universal Basic Education SUBEB, that basic education is free.
CrossRiverWatch understands that though education is not officially free in the state, the pupils have however been paying suspicious levies not categorized under any known primary school charges.
Pupils in primary schools across the state are currently paying between 800 and 1,100 naira per term as school fee, an amount the Ministry of Education has increased by 600 naira making it a total of 1700 naira for each pupil.
Some of the teachers who spoke to our reporter said the directive was from the education minstry to increase charges by N500 for report card.
The Chairman, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Dr Stephen Odey, told CrossRiverWatch that SUBEB, which is responsible for basic education in the state does not charge any money whatsoever from pupils.
“There is no circular from SUBEB to increase any fees in primary schools. Call it report card or whatsoever. Infact, SUBEB does not collect one dime from pupils.
In contrast, the Commissioner for Education, Godwin Etah, has refused to take more than 10 calls to his phone within the past two weeks.
He also did not respond to a text message sent to his phone.
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