South-West PTAs fault FG’s cancellation of development levy in Unity Schools

THE South-West zonal chapter of the National Association of Parent-Teacher Association of Federal Government Colleges (NAPTAFEGC) has faulted the decision by the Federal Government to limit PTA dues to a maximum of N5000 and totally proscribe collection of development levy in the colleges.

It also expressed displeasure at the recent increase in the school fees of Unity Schools, saying this it is at variance with the free education policy of the Federal Government.

In a communiqué issued after an emergency meeting of the association’s chairmen in the zone, held in Ibadan on Saturday August 13, 2016, the body advised the Federal Government to give its decision to stop collection of development levy “a second thought.”

It said that apart from the fact that the development levy was unanimously agreed by the PTA congress of each of the schools in the zone, development projects in the schools are largely credited to the fee.

“For instance, the Honuorable Minister of State for Education came to commission a gigantic hostel project of 1200 bed-space girls’ hostel built by the PTA at the FSTC, Yaba, recently.

“The hostel project and other projects that were executed in other Unity Schools across the zone are in the range of hundreds of millions of Naira sourced from the so-called development levy,” it noted.

The meeting was convened by the chairmen of the association in the South-West, including Adebayo Olayide, the zonal coordinator; Ahmen Tajudeen Olutope, zonal secretary, and Ogunjobi Olanrewaju, the zonal public relations officer.

The body listed what the development levy has been used for to include engagement and payment of staff (teaching and non-teaching); provision of scholarship scheme for indigent students, and intervention in repair or replacement of infrastructural facilities in schools, among others.

It claimed that presently, there are over 1000 workers on PTA’s payroll in various Unity Schools in the South-West, amounting to about N20 million salary per month.

It also stated that about 500 students are currently benefiting from PTA welfare scheme, which in some schools is even extended to staff.

The body therefore advised the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, to rescind his decision on the PTA development levy, as doing otherwise would have adverse and debilitating effects on the voluntary and communal development efforts going on in the colleges in the areas of academic performance and infrastructure development.

“We hereby state in clear terms that if the minister of education does not rescind his directive on the PTA development levy, the PTAs may be constrained to dispense with the PTA staff on their payroll, stop ongoing PTA projects and provision of essential voluntary services valued at N1.5 billion, as the PTDA would not have the capacity to continue with those activities,” it said further.