Abuja – Federal Ministry of Education yesterday said it has banned the collection of development levies by the Parents Teachers Association, PTA, in the Unity Colleges across the country in order to alleviate the sufferings of parents.
The ban is with immediate effect. In statement issued very late on Tuesday evening by the Ministry and signed on behalf of the Minister by the Deputy Director ( Press) ,Ben Bem Goong, in Abuja. The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu said no Parent Teachers Association (PTA) of any unity college is allowed to initiate any development project in any of the unity colleges without the express or written authorisation of the Federal Ministry of Education.
The statement reads ; “The new measures are aimed at arresting the shocking trend where Development levies imposed on parents by PTAs are becoming higher than the school fees charged by Government which established the Unity Schools. “Citing examples of PTA collections which have become higher than school fees charged by Government, the Minister gave the examples of Kings College Lagos, and Federal Science and Technical College Yaba where the fees charged by Government for JSS1 in the first term is N69, 400.00, while the PTA collections stand at N70,000.00 and N74,000 respectively per child for the same first term. This brings the total paid by parents in these two schools to N139,400 and N143,400 respectively. With the reduction on development levies and ban on charges for new projects as well as pegging of the development levy to a maximum of N5,000, parents of JSS1 in these two schools will now pay N88,000”.
While acknowledging the complementary roles played by parents and the support provided by the PTA to the Colleges, the Education Minister said he would not allow the PTAs to constitute themselves into a Government within a Government at the level of Unity schools and at the expense of parents. According to the Minister, “Government views with grave concern the activities of PTAs in Unity Colleges – which have even formed themselves into National Associations, instead of limiting themselves to the schools where their children attend.
“Running additional organizations such as NAPTAFEGC increases the burden on parents who hardly differentiate between Government charges and PTA levies”. Malam Adamu Adamu described the existence of an umbrella body over the PTA as unnecessary, exploitative and unacceptable.