Over the years in Imo state, education has been regarded or looked upon as the biggest industry and every family, parent or guardian takes or sees the provision of western education for their children and wards as top priority charge above provision of food or health facility.
It is because of this common knowledge of the misplaced priority that education providers/administrators in our state utilize the opportunity to commit a number of criminal or fraudulent activities most times defrauding parents, guardians and their wards end in putting the people into difficulties of financial stress.
This explains why there are numerous quasi or sub-standard educational institutions of all categories and standards springing up all over the state like mushrooms or worship centers. A few occasions in the past, government had attempted to regulate and supervise the provision and standard of education and academic activities in the state without any meaningful result, Perhaps this led to or formed the basis of the rescue mission’s so called “Free education” which was imaginary or deceitful.
However, since the exit of the Okorocha government and its pseudo free education, Imolites have been at sea as to what is the reality of the situation or condition of provision of education in the state. For instance since the beginning of this government and the long delay in resumption of schools in the state, it is uncertain what system of education we are now operating in the state.
It seems, it is every man on his own and God for us all. It is not easy to classify or differentiate between public academic institutions and the privately owned ones as there seem to be no marginal cost in both sectors.
As at today, the case in question is school fees, what or how much do students or pupils in the exit classes of our secondary schools pay to sit for external examinations conducted by the West Africa Examination council (WAEC) and the National Examination Council (NECO) in Imo state public and private secondary schools. Is there any regulated or standard fees approved by the ministry of education or a free for all affair for every school head to do as he wishes. There have been hues and cries from parents, guardians and students over varied amounts being demanded by principals from candidates wishing to sit for the examinations. Some schools are charging fees ranging between N40,000 to N60,000. Where as it is common knowledge that WAEC charges N17,600 and NECO also charges N19,500 for their examinations. From where comes the discrepancy that a school in Egbu and Orji charge a total of N47,00 where as another one in Akwakuma and in New Owerri charge N56,600 and N60,000 respectively?
Can the Secondary Education Management Board or the state ministry of education come out to clear the air on this time barred sensitive issue?