Concerned parents Monday protested the alleged hike in school fees by the management of Our Lady of Mercy Nursery and Primary School in Benin, Edo State.
The aggrieved parents also called for an overhaul of the management of the school, citing alleged high-handedness.
Adorolo Osikhena, spokesperson for the protesters and Chairman of the Parent-Teacher Association in the school, accused the management of including the sums of N100 and N700 as electricity and diesel levies for the pupils.
Osikhena said while the concerned parents had paid the school and sundry fees, the inclusion of the extra fees came as a surprise to them as the payment of electricity bills and the purchase of diesel was not their responsibility.
“We are made to pay outstanding fees that are not there; we pay for Home Economics practical, Music practical and all these are not there. You know that taking money on false pretences is criminal.
“There have been a lot of criminal activities in that school. The management of the school is not concerned.
“The Chancellor of the School, Fr. Michael Oyanoafo, said although the school was set up primarily for the purpose of educating children, it is a profit organisation. That is why I am saying that if it is buying and selling that they are doing in the school and they don’t share profits with parents; if they run at a loss, they don’t need to tell the parents to pay for it,” he said.
Adorolo also lamented that the pupils were overburdened with many subjects, compared to other schools run by Catholic Church.
According to him, “Twenty one subjects for children are too many. The maximum allowed by the Ministry of Education is nine for public schools. Having sampled some private schools around, the highest (number of subjects) we got was 15.
“OLM is a Catholic school. Sacred Heart (Nursery and Primary School) is a Catholic school. Brother Pius (Nursery and Primary School) is a Catholic school, headed by the same Sisters of Sacred Heart (of Jesus). They offer 15 subjects.”