The Gambia Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MOBSE) has issued a stern warning asking school heads who charge levy fees to school parents to stop doing so. The Ministry has also recalled that forcing students to buy books or pamphlets written by their subject teachers is illegal and unacceptable.
“The Gambia Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MOBSE) has learned the unscrupulous act by some school heads that are charging levies on parent which is against the policy set by MOBSE on school levies,” a press release says.
According to the government, “These came following complains that some government and grant-aided schools are defying government’s policy against school levies.”
The act has frowned upon the MOBSE, especially the Senior Management of the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, prompting them to convene a meeting with school heads in region one, Kanifing, on the matter.
According to Ousman Bah, Regional Education Director Region 1, the primary objective of the School Improvement Grant (SIG) is to ease the burden of school fees on parents.
“Although uniform, shoes, stationaries, and lunch are not catered for in the SIG, school heads have no right to force any parent to buy them in the school,” he said
He said forcing students to buy books or pamphlets written by their subject teachers is illegal and unacceptable.
Meanwhile, Adama Jimba Jobe, Deputy Permanent Secretary MOBSE, stressed that MOBSE has taken a stand to condemn such ‘illegal acts.’
“Any government school head which is found wanting of levying illegal school fees will be asked to hand over their school to the regional office and be replaced with immediate effect. Any Grant-Aided school found wanting of levying illegal school fees will have their subventions frozen with immediate effect,” he said
About the recent press release by MOBSE on students converging around the Traffic Lights vicinity in their uniforms, the senior management MOBSE says it has engaged various school heads intending to proffer a ‘definitive solution.’