The executive governor of Delta State, Governor Okowa said the state government would review the practice as it is not benefiting the state in terms of the huge cost and the students not appreciating the gesture, said people are not interested in free education “because they are not paying and so whatever happens does not bother them.
According to his speech he also said “is what I have seen from free education, apart from government being overstretched. In today’s economy, it’s becoming very difficult. So, we need to be truthful and ask ourselves, is free education really the answer, is it really working? “In free education, you are saddling government with enormous responsibilities. It should be a two way issue. What are the parents and guardians providing for the children? It’s not just for them to bring the kids to school and go home. There must be some obligations from parents. It is a form of social contract. When you pay fees for your children, you demand for some standard because you are paying for it.”
The state commissioner of the state also said that the decision to abolish the WAEC payment was taken after much review to examine the success of the practice and discovered that the practice is a waste of resources as the same students whom the state enrolls for the exam in government schools do not write the exams but prefer going to miracle centres in the remote communities of the state.
He said the guardian and parents should have a sense of commitment to their children’s education, adding: “when you pay for education, you enjoy it, we consider it exhaustively and we felt it should be borne by parents and we decided to stop it from this enrolment that will soon begin.” The free enrolment started during the administration of former governor Emmanuel Uduaghan who shouldered the payment for all students writing WAEC in the state.
However, in the midst of the enrolment, many students had resorted to miracle centres where they could write the examinations and pass without much effort.
When the present administration of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa came on board, it inherited over N200m unpaid WAEC fees which led to the seizure of the 2015 WAEC results by WAEC pending the payment of the fees before the results were released.
While some Deltans see the development as good for the state as it will help government to save money for other projects as free health care and security, others view it as a step in the bad direction noting that it would impoverish parents and may lead some unable to enroll for the examination.
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