WASSCE fees: Oyo action generates mixed reactions

The decision of the Oyo State Government to stop paying the West African Secondary School Certificate Examination fees for candidates from the state public schools is generating mixed reactions from parents and private school owners in the state.

Apart from the state refusal to continue with the payment, all pupils in the state public secondary schools will start paying N3000 Educational Development Levy per session, which the state government said would complement its efforts at improving the infrastructure in the schools.

While the idea was applauded by some parents, others told our correspondent that government should have reduced its unnecessary spending to accommodate and sustain payment of the WASSCE fees.

Owner of one of the biggest private secondary schools in Ibadan, who preferred to be simply identified as Dr. Mojisola, questioned the state government’s initiative to sponsor candidates when it would have provided the infrastructure needed to give quality education to the pupils.

She said, “The decision of the state government to pay WASSCE fees for candidates is politically motivated and ill-advised. You cannot ask a candidate to enter for an examination he has not prepared for. The government should have used the money to ensure pupils receive quality education before going for the examination. That is why mass failure in the school certificate examination is constantly being recorded in the state.

“The government can also partner private school owners by subsidising school fees so that more pupils can receive quality education. The public school system collapsed because politics was introduced to its running,” she added.

A civil servant in Ogun State, whose children reside in Oyo State because his wife is a teacher in one of the public schools attended by the children, told our correspondent that government should have a rethink.

He said, “The state government claimed that the state of its finance was responsible for the decision. Has it reduced what it spends on other activities that are less important to the state development? It should invest more in education instead of playing politics with important issue.”

However, the state government received accolades from those who felt that parents who do not fund their children education would not know the value. One of them is Adeoti Adetunji who has children in a private secondary school.

“Is there anything like free education when quality is intended? We should stop deceiving ourselves. I think the government is ready to address the drop in education standard in the state with that decision. Parents should commit themselves to funding their children education,” he stressed.