The government of Oyo State has said that the total amount charged by each student for the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO) exams is N22,000.
According to a statement from the State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr. Abiodun Abdu-raheem, this amount includes N600 administrative costs.
He said the administrative fee was agreed upon in consultation with the parents’ association, the directors and other stakeholders.
Abdu-raheem stated this Thursday, responding to reports in some quarters that state officials are charging an additional N600 per student for WAEC, NECO and the money is being distributed to officials of the ministry, the Post-Primary Education Service Commission. (TESCOM), executive members of ANCOPPS and Tutors General.
Abdu-Raheem reprimanded those he called purveyors of a smear campaign against the state’s education family.
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He further described reports that ministry officials had charged some high school principals and vice principals while registering students for WAEC and NECO exams as false.
He stated that none of the employees of the Ministry, TESCOM or ACCOPSS are involved in collecting illegal fees in the schools.
He stated categorically that the appointment of principals is a transparent process based strictly on merit, adding that no principal is obliged to pay any amount to any official during school visits and that there is no evidence of such an allegation.
The Education Commissioner also criticized reports that people pay for appointments at TESCOM and that school principals often had to pay various amounts to officials who attend unscheduled inspections.
He said all the allegations were false, unfounded and aimed at tarnishing the “good deeds of the incumbent government in the education sector”.
He further said, “In Oyo state, the total package for WAEC and NECO is N22,000 per candidate. That’s much less than what some other states charge their students. His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde, had decided that while the state remains committed to the free and quality education policy, the payment of external exams should be the responsibility of the parents.
“The mentioned N22,000 includes the N600 administration costs per student, which are always determined in consultation with the Parents Teachers Association, Principals and other stakeholders. “The administration fee is used to cover the additional administration costs and is not intended to burden anyone.
“The ministry under my supervision will not be involved in shady financial transactions. While we condemn the dangerous campaign aimed at destroying the good image of the current government, we urge anyone who has a genuine complaint against a public servant in the education sector to immediately report it to the appropriate authorities.
“Let me state that this is an obvious smear campaign being orchestrated by politically minded characters who are not bold enough to identify themselves. We don’t let their uncomplicated antics put us off.
“I also want to assure the public that the smear campaign will fail to the extent that none of the stakeholders in the education sector of Oyo State is willing to do anything that would tarnish the image of the state.
“Education remains a key pillar of Governor ‘Seyi Makinde’s governance and we are committed to continuing to push the boundaries of excellence in that sector. His Excellency and the entire team of the current administration are humanely doing everything they can to leave behind an enviable legacy of people oriented and results oriented public service and as such saboteurs and anti-human elements in society should be committed elsewhere.
“The people of Oyo State are wiser now.
“I therefore reassure the people of Oyo State to ignore the frivolous accusations circulating on social media, rest assured that our commitment to excellence in the education sector will not budge.”
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Oyo charges no more than N22,000 for WAEC, NECO commissioner