By Ndey Sowe
Following complaints that some Government and Grant Aided Schools are defying government’s policy against school levies, the senior management of the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE) has swiftly convened a meeting with School Heads in Region-One at the Kanifing RED Office, to frown at what they called the unlawful school levies.
During the meeting, MoBSE strongly urged school heads to desist from charging parents’ levies which is against the policy on school levies.
Mr. Ousman Bah, Regional Education Director-1, noted that the primary objective of the School Improvement Grant (SIG) was to ease the burden of school fees on parents. Bah added although uniforms, shoes, stationeries and lunch are not catered for in the SIG, school heads have no right to force any parent to buy them in the school.
Bah called on the heads of schools to desist from charging illegal levies on parents as a precondition for admission. He described the issue of forcing students to buy books or pamphlets written by their subject teachers as illegal and unacceptable.
Mr. Adama Jimba Jobe, the Deputy Permanent Secretary of Programs-MoBSE, said he is directed by the Permanent Secretary to inform the school heads that: “Any government school head, who is found wanting of levying illegal school fees will be asked to handover his/her school to the Regional office and be replaced with immediate effect”.
“Any Grant-Aided School found wanting of levying illegal school fees will have their subventions frozen with immediate effect”.
DPS-Jobe warned that the MoBSE is determined to implement the government policy against school levies to the latter.
In the same vein, sequel to the recent press release of MoBSE on students converging around the traffic light vicinity in their uniforms, the senior management successfully engaged the various school heads with a view to proffer a definitive solution.