The Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE) has told school heads to refrain from charging parents levies in line with the school levy policy.

“Following complaints that some government and grant-aided schools are defying government’s policy against school levies, the senior management of the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education has swiftly convened a meeting with school heads in Region One at the Kanifing RED Office, to frown at the unlawful school levies,” MoBSE said in a statement.

Ousman Bah, Regional Education Director, said that the primary objective of the School Improvement Grant (SIG) is meant to ease the burden of school fees on parents.

“Although, uniforms, shoes, stationeries 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.

Mr Bah called on heads of schools to desist from charging illegal levies on parents as a precondition for admission.

He described the issue of forcing students to buy books or pamphlets written by their subject teachers as “illegal and unacceptable”.

Adama Jimba Jobe, the deputy permanent secretary of Programmes at MoBSE, stressed that he is directed by the permanent secretary to inform the school heads that: “any government school head who is found wanting of levying illegal school fees will be asked to handover his/her 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”.

DPS Jobe warned that the ministry is determined to implement the government policy against school levies to the letter.

Reporting by Adama Makasuba

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