Okey Sampson, Umuahia
Some parents in Abia have sent an SOS message to the state government over the recent hike in school fees by private schools proprietors in Abia state.
Public and private schools in Abia which closed for the third term on October 16, and were to reopen on October 26, but could not due to the #EndSARS protests, reopened on Monday, to a new regime of school fees.
The parents said while some of the schools upped their school fees by 10 per cent, others increased theirs by as high as 20 per cent.
Some parents in Umuahia who spoke to our reporter over the increment said it was wrong for private school proprietors to increase school fees by this period of the year, particularly when taken into cognizance what they (parents) have gone through since the beginning of the year, starting with the COVID-19 lockdown and the recent #EndSARS protests.
A parent who gave his name simply as Egwu, while expressing his displeasure at the development said it was wrong for private school owners to increase school fees by this time when students and pupils have barely one month to spend before they vacate for the Christmas holidays.
Chief Paul Agu, another parent said, “This thing (increment in school fees) does not add up. Abia Government reopened schools in the state on September 28 and closed them on October 16 and asked parents to pay 30 per cent of the normal school fees, which we did”.
Agu said it was unacceptable that schools would reopen on November 2, to close in December and the proprietors would be talking of increasing school fees.
He called on the state government to call the proprietors to order and make them rescind their decision.
Meanwhile, Abia State Government has vowed to recover health care equipment looted from the State Dental Center, Aba, and the Primary Health Authority office in Aba South council by hoodlums during the #EndSARS protest.
Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, explained that hoodlums who hijacked the #EndSARS protests in Aba, looted vaccines, X-ray machines, sterilizers, air conditioners, fans and other equipment as well as disposables and consumables.
He urged those who are in possession of the missing equipment to return them to the relevant offices within seven days or risk prosecution.