Update Accross The Globe

Publish Date : 30.03.21 || category : new

Refund of WAEC fees: Parents, ANCOPPS on collision course in Ondo

AKURE—Principals in Public Secondary Schools and parents of students sitting for the 2021 West African Examinations Council, WAEC, yesterday, disagreed over directive by the Ondo State government that fees paid, on behalf of their wards must be refunded. Governor Rotimi Akeredolu had ordered the refund, after his administration paid N360 million as WAEC fees for students in public schools. A total of 25,736 students in Public Secondary Schools across the state will benefit from the gesture. CityNews, however, gathered that the directive had generated controversy from stakeholders in the education sector across the state. It was also gathered that most school principals are at a loss on the amount to be refunded to parents of students. Some parents, who spoke with CityNews in confidence, said the principals have decided not to refund the exact amount paid for the examination. A parent said they were informed that “registration fees paid by WAEC students was N16,750, but an administrative charge of N2,800 will be deducted from each student and we will end up collecting N13,950 as a refund.” But a school principal, however, said the deduction from the WAEC fee to pay the outstanding debts by some students would be done in agreement with the parents. He said: “There is also a suggestion by some principals that parents might be advised that rather than collect the refund, they could use it for the payment of the forthcoming NECO exams and if there is a balance, it will be refunded or if higher than the money paid, they will balance up.” CityNews, however, learned that the refund arrangements were turned down by the state government through the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. ANCOPPS reacts When contacted, the President, All Nigeria Conference of Principals of Public Secondary Schools, ANCOPPS, in Ondo State, Mr. Johnbull Mebawondu said school principals must ensure strict compliance with the state government directive. Mebawondu said: “All principals, who collected money from the students, will have to refund the WAEC registration fee. There is a template given to us by the ministry of education on how much we should collect from the students before the announcement by the government. “What the government instructed us now was that the N13,950 for the WAEC registration per candidate should be refunded to them without any condition.” “The only condition we had was that the money should not be refunded to the candidates directly but we should rather invite the parents and hand over the money to them. “We have resolved that the principals should not also give the money to the parents anyhow. “Principals are to summon the meeting of parents of the affected students and ensure that parents put down their signatures before they collect the money as evidence of refund. “It must be transparent and that will make the parents appreciate the good work that the governor is doing and at the same time save principals from accusations of complicity. “Again, it was resolved that there is no provision for payment by substitution for NECO exams. Principals have to refund the money, even when such a candidate is owing, they should not use the money to pay for the collectibles unless the parents willingly want to use the money to offload the debts of their children. But they must first sign for the refund. “As of today, we don’t know how much the NECO will cost, so it will be wrong for any principal to say he is using the money to pay for NECO.”

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