Cross River Commissioner for Education, Dr Stephen Odey has ordered the suspension of two secondary schools principals in Calabar for collecting illegal levies from students, despite state government’s directive waiving tuition in public schools.
The Commissioner had embarked on an unscheduled visit to the Government Secondary School State Housing Estate Calabar Municipality, and the West African People’s Institute (WAPI) Calabar, following incessant complaints from parents and guardians about the schools’ illegal levies collection.
He discovered upon his arrival at Government Secondary School, State Housing Calabar, that the the School Principal was found wanting in the collection of illegal and unapproved levies. A parent who was in the school to pay the levies further confirmed by saying how much she paid contrary to the Ministry of Education approval. In further confirmation, the Commissioner went into JSS 3, JSS 1 and SS 2 classes and discovered how much they have been paying as illegal levies.
Following the discovery, the Commissioner ordered the suspension of Mr Esang Usang, the Principal of GSS State Housing, pending further investigation into the matter, and the Vice Principal Administration, Mrs Effiom Uduak Orok, was immediately directed to take over as the Acting Principal.
Similarly, the Principal of the West African People’s Institute (WAPI), Mr Owoh Effiong was also suspended following the evidence/records of illegal levies he has been collecting which he also admitted. Available records in the school show clearly that the Principal had defaulted. The Vice Principal, Administration, Mrs Emem A. Ijang has been directed to take over as the Acting Principal following an interview conducted on the spot by the Commissioner among the school’s three Vice Principals, pending further investigation by the Ministry of Education.
The Commissioner further warned other school Principals to stick only to government approved levies to avoid sanctions as he also urged parents not to hesitate to report.