An educationist, Chief Fidelis Nwogu, has applauded the decision of the Abia State Government to return public schools to their original owners.
Nwogu said in a statement given to newsmen in Aba that the measure would help to raise educational standards in the state.
He commended Governor Theodore Orji for scrapping the collection of administrative levies in public schools, describing the monies as “hidden charges”.
The Tide’s source reports that the governor in 2010 had read a riot act to the principals of public schools, saying that any of them caught demanding administrative levies would be summarily dismissed from service.
It is now an offence for any principal to demand the so-called administrative levy or any other unofficial ancillary levy.
The educationist noted that the Orji administration had given priority to education since its inception by abolishing some obnoxious practices.
He, however, drew government’s attention to a plan by a section of the state to victimise school principals in Aba who are non-indigenes.
According to Nwogu, these principals are on the verge of being moved from their duty posts to remote areas for no just cause.
On the free school bus scheme for pupils, he urged the governor to resume its operation in the overall interest of the people.
Nwogu further called on the government to rehabilitate dilapidated school buildings, especially those in Aba, and beautify the surroundings to implant an enduring aesthetic culture in the young minds.
He commended the state Ministry of Education for its decision to merge Junior and Senior Secondary Schools, a development he noted would help immensely in terms of administration.
With the new dispensation, he recommended that staff in the senior principal cadre should be administrative principals, while those heading the Junior Secondary Schools should become vice-principals (academics).
“Another gain from the planned merger is that students of both Junior and Senior Secondary Schools will benefit most from the development as this will integrate the staff and enhance academic programmes.