Oyo State Government has warned principals and teachers of public schools who have been collecting illegal fees from the students to desist, saying that recalcitrant officers will not go unpunished.
The Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Salihu Adelabu gave the warning on Friday, while speaking with Journalists in his Office.
Prof Adelabu, who described the act as illegal, reiterated that the Oyo state government policy on Education is free from primary to secondary level in all public schools across the state.
He urged parents and guardians not to pay any fee to principals or teachers, but report anyone who might request or ask them for payment at the ministry.
The Commissioner, therefore, hinted that any principal or teacher found guilty will be seriously dealt with.
According to him, “before school resumes, We had a stakeholders meeting, where we warned all our teachers to desist from illegal collection of fees.
“Because in Oyo state, the school is free, Education is free in Oyo state; from the basic to secondary schools.
“As regards the collection of illegal fees, we cannot run away from bad eggs among our teachers, we have been hearing this rumor, I call it a rumor because we have been hunting for school principals and teachers that are collecting levies from our students.
“In fact, some Zonal Inspectorate Education Officers, (ZIE), our PS; inspector General of Education have been disguising in schools with money to pay such illegal fees when there is a red flag that; in this school, they are collecting illegal fee, I think I can mention two or three of such.
“There was a radio programme some time ago that they were collecting illegal fees in one of the secondary schools in Iseyin, They tagged the fee as ‘IFINKO’, so we quickly called the PS, IGE in charge of that zone. He conducted a search, and he discovered that nothing of such happened.
“There was another incident in IDO, we were trying to at least get one or two as a scapegoat, until now, we are unable to get a result.
“We are not resting on our oars because we have stumbled on one, and we are seriously working to unravel the truth of the matter, if we can get it, if that information is correct, that particular teacher will definitely be queried and is going to face the panel, so, all our teachers should be very careful.
“To the parents, they should know that education is free in Oyo state, no school, no head of school should demand a dime.
“They should not pay them, when such happened they should, please contact the Ministry of Education in Oyo state. If they cannot come over, we have all our LIEs (Local inspector of Education, we have our PS: Inspector General of Education.
“They should please contact them, and they should let us know.
“We have been carrying out what I called sting operation, we are going to schools to find out what type of fee or levy they are collecting from students.
“We’ve not been able to get so much of them, but In the public domain, we are hearing rumors, we are receiving WhatsApp messages, but we have not been able to at least get one or two of them.
“We are still looking for them, you too can help us, if you know of any school, just get in touch with us.”