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Fee hike: FG to set up negotiation team to avoid attacks on school

The Federal Government has pledged to set up a formal negotiation team between the Parent Teachers Association (PTA) and relevant stakeholders to look into fees…

The Federal Government has pledged to set up a formal negotiation team between the Parent Teachers Association (PTA) and relevant stakeholders to look into fees hike across board without decreasing the quality of education.

The Minister of State for Education, Dr Yusuf Sununu stated this on Friday in Abuja during a briefing in commemoration of the forthcoming International Day to Protect Education from Attack, observed every September 9th.

Sununu said that school fees hike could be a core factor in bringing about attacks hence the need to look into this area to avert any attack in schools.

He said: “So many areas that require finances are being attacked but we must also look at the constitutional provisions, which expressly states that free education but with caveat ‘when government can afford’ and that is why it comes also as voluntary contributions by all stakeholders.”

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“When we say safety in schools, it is a collective responsibility. So we are going to encourage formal negotiations, where we cannot provide is to encourage PTA and relevant institutions so that we can agree to a term that is acceptable to all of us.

“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 Nigerians without decreasing the quality of education.”

The minister also said that the federal government had ratified the Safe School Declaration in December 2019 and has developed a safe school policy in furtherance to upholding the right to education in emergency situations.

He pledged the ministry’s commitment in developing learning centres in Internally Displaced Peoples (IDP) camps as well as providing relevant information on threat assessments to the schools at all levels.

“Nigeria in recent past has had more than a fair share of attacks on our education system at all levels. These attacks are not only physical but also non-physical, especially on deliberate attempts to water down our standards of education,” he said.

While noting that the Federal Ministry of Education, in partnership with relevant stakeholders, have put in place various strategies to deal with these attacks, he said all their efforts would be geared towards implementing the safe school policy for all.

The pre-activities of the celebration include playlet, dance, drama, poetic rendition and quiz competition.

He explained that the ministry will key into the President Bola Tinubu agenda in moving Nigeria on the right track.

According to him, at the first inaugural meeting with the president, security was a major factor that featured in the deliberation of the council and attempt to mop-up at least four million out-of-school children back to school.

He said the ministry would ensure it lived up to its responsibilities in ensuring standards at the various educational levels.

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