July 20, 2024

Akwa Ibom Govt moves to demote school head over extortion

Akwa Ibom State Government said it has concluded plans to demote a head teacher in one of the public schools who was said to have extorted parents of the pupils.

The Commissioner for Education, Mrs Idongesit Etiebet, announced this on Friday during the distribution of ARISE branded exercise books for pupils of all public primary schools in Uyo senatorial district.

She said the head teacher demanded the sum of N1,000 from all new intakes and also extorted N5,000 from each pupil to give them their placement letters.

She described the action as sabotage to government efforts in providing free and compulsory education to pupils in the state and warned head teachers of public schools in the state to desist from illegal charges on school children or risk severe penalties.

According to her, “I want to use this opportunity to warn all head teachers to do your best, do not collect money of any kind from students or else you would be demoted with immediate effect through the appropriate disciplinary channels.

“Next week you’re going to hear that we are sending a head teacher who demanded the sum of a thousand naira from all new intakes and also extorted five thousand naira from each pupil to give them their placement letters.

“This was a very unjust act and so he will face the consequences.”

A member of the State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, John Udo, said the Board had concluded investigations on the allegations and had begun the process of refunding the illegal charges to parents in that school.

“Education is free and fair in Akwa Ibom State, you have not been asked to collect money from any student”, he said and lauded the Governor for the prompt payment of counterpart funding for all Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC projects in the state.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mrs Stella Etukakpan, while setting the tone, highlighted the governor’s proactive approach since assumption of office, including unscheduled visits to schools and regular spot checks to schools.

She also commended the Education Commissioner for her consistency and passion towards proper interpretation and implementation of the governor’s vision for education advancement in the state.

Also speaking, the Senior Special Assistant on Research and Documentation, Dr Essien Ndueso, highlighted the comprehensive monitoring mechanisms put in place to ensure the effective distribution of resources.

He explained that Ward Personal Assistants have been equipped with iPads to document and report on the distribution process, ensuring accountability and transparency.

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