Posted by News Express | 5 May 2016 | 2,742 times
The National Association of Parents and Teachers of Federal Government Colleges (NAPTAFEGC), an umbrella body of the Parents Teachers Association (PTA), has reiterated its rejection of N5,000 insurance fees in unity schools.
Mr Ehis Ogbeide, the Chairman of PTA, Government Secondary School, Kwali and North Central Zonal Coordinator, NAPTAFGC, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.
“I am not too particular or concerned about the old insurance scheme which was N1,500 that went into extinction. Then I was too much in the office; it was not a matter that we handled or we met that we had to fight because that did not even exist at all; it fizzled out on its own.
“But there came in 2014 during our national election in Umuahia when parents were calling us on vacation day that there was this flier that was given to parents and children about insurance they are introducing.
“By our constitution, the Permanent Secretary and our board of trustee members are supposed to be the ones to conduct the election. So, the ministry sent a high-powered delegation to that election.
“And you know ordinarily when we have a policy shift, you call the national executive council to the ministry and then, you do a discourse.
“No parents should pay because we were not part of that information; and as I am speaking right now, that is still our position for two years running.”
He said that afterwards, there was a directive from the National Executive Council for all chairmen in that council to send sms to their schools directing parents not to pay.
Ogbeide said that the NEC then started meeting with the ministry on the issue.
He said that it was agreed with the ministry that there was a problem with the arrangement between NICON insurance and the ministry to introduce N5,000 insurance fees.
The PTA chairman said that it was agreed that the fees should be put on hold while the insurance company went round the 104 unity schools to sensitise the parents.
“The general reaction from schools even without us brainwashing then was that the fee was not acceptable by them; in some schools they even drove the insurance people out of the schools.
“Up until now, the meeting to review the outcome of the sensitisation has not been held.
“Funnily, the insurance policy has been passed by the ministry, saying it is now mandatory; and we said; even in law, insurance is not a compulsory thing.
“We also told them that Muslims do not have the permission of their religion to insure lives; they went behind our back and wrote circulars to their principals to carry out the directive and are still saying no.”
He said that over 75 per cent of parents of children in unity abided by the directive not to pay while some parents of new intakes paid as they did not know what was on ground.
According to him, the association is open to dialogue as the new Minister of Education is willing to negotiate with it over the issue.
Ogbeide said that the association had invested over N500 million in unity colleges as a way of helping the Federal Government. (NAN)
•Photo shows Education Minister Adamu Adamu.
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