Parents and Guardians of students in private secondary schools in Ogun state are protesting against the payment of N25,000 as COVID-19 test charges by each student billed to resume schools tomorrow ahead of their WAEC examinations.
Recall that the government had mandated each student to undergo a test as a precondition for resumption saying, only students that have been confirmed to be free from COVID-19 will be allowed into the school premises.
But parents alongside their wards in large numbers visited 54 genes COVID-19 Mobile Lab located within the state-owned MTR Specialist Hospital, Abeokuta, for the COVID-19 test, only to be informed of the payment of N25,000 per student. The parents then became agitated and staged a protest against what they called monetization of the test.
They also wondered why the government would tell only private schools to pay for the test but allow children in public schools to get tested without any levy. They said this way is totally against the campaign promises the present administration made to them which was free education for all. The aggrieved parents also shut the gate of the hospital, as part of moves to demonstrate their grievances against the decision.
The parents stayed at the premises for almost six hours. Their stay at the premises put activities on a total halt because of the prevented entry and exit from the premises.
Speaking with newsmen, one of the parents, Dr. Kehinde Sanwo wondered how and why the government would marginalize and even discriminate between students in public and private schools, adding that they are all children of the state are should be treated equally.
The Vice-Chairman of the Parent Teachers Association (PTA) of Taidob College, Asero, Abeokuta, Sanwo said “The parents here are good citizens of Ogun State and are taxpayers. It is so disheartening that we are here at the MTR hospital, the venue for the COVID-19 test. “When we got there, they told us to pay N25,000. Whereas, some people who arrived earlier paid nothing. So, we don’t know where the decision came from. Some of us have more than two children.”