The Delta State Government has said it will punish anyone found culpable in the viral video that shows a schoolgirl, Success Adebor, reportedly sent home over her parents’ failure to pay for her second term examination and books.
The video of Success, a primary three pupil of Okotie-Eboh Primary School 1, Sapele, in the Sapele Local Government Area of the state, had gone viral after she was allegedly sent home by the head teacher of the school.
The seven-year-old girl in the video which has attracted the attention of Nigerian celebrities, including a comedian, Ayo Makun, aka AY, and Instagram sensation, Mr Jollof, has said she preferred to be flogged to being sent out of school.
The state Commissioner for Education, Mr Chiedu Ebie, who spoke to The PUNCH, noted that the state government operated a free education policy and it was illegal for the school authority to demand examination levy or any other unauthorised levies from pupils.
“The fact is that we (government) operate free education policy in Delta State,” Ebie said.
He claimed that many school heads had been demoted or suspended for imposing unauthorised levies on pupils, explaining that the only authorised levies in the state public school were for consumables and sports wears.
The commissioner, who frowned on the action of the school, said the ministry of education had commenced investigation into the matter and vowed to ensure that anyone found culpable in the illegal levy saga would be sanctioned in line with civil service rules.
He said, “We discovered overtime that some school heads take the laws into their hands by imposing illegal levies. We have battled this in the last three and half years of this administration. We have had school heads suspended and demoted.
“Once again, this is another case of a school head taking the laws into her hands and imposing levies that ought not to be imposed on the pupils.
“We have what we referred to as ‘approved levy’ in our schools. It is issued by the ministry (of education). The approved levy is N100 for consumables and no school head has the right to collect above N100.”
He added, “Also, for sports wears because of inter-house sports and other sporting activities, we have a flat rate of N750. It’s clearly specified and clearly defined. In this case, I understand that it was exam levy of N800 and a levy for a book of N1,000 and another one for N300.
“Let’s give her the opportunity to hear from her. The video has been trending for the last two days and she must be aware of it. If I am not convinced or satisfied with her response, then judgement or punishment will be meted out to anyone caught culpable pending the conclusion of a more detailed investigation in line with civil service rules.”
The commissioner, who told our correspondent that he would visit the school on Monday (today), explained that the examination levies pupils of public schools in the state paid were for exams conducted by the West African Examinations Council.