Protest Over Payment of N25.000 As Coronavirus Test for Private School Students In Ogun - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE

Protest Over Payment of N25.000 As Coronavirus Test for Private School Students In Ogun

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By Aremu Sosanya

Private Scores of parents of children attending private schools in Ogun state yesterday protested government's decision to charge the sum of N25, 000 on each students before testing them for COVID-19 ahead of their resumption tomorrow Tuesday  August 4.

The parents who besieged the MTR specialist hospital constructed by his predecessor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun venue of the test queried the rationale behind the levy which they said they did not prepared for. 

The protestors also queried why government would impose any levy on students of private schools while their counterparts in public schools were tested free, arguing that the disparity was against the electioneering manifesto that brought in the present administration of free education. 

They further argued that, covid-19 test shouldn't be compulsory for students since the state government had instructed all schools to make adequate provisions for testing of their students before they resume in their respective school. 

Speaking with journalists, the Vice Chairman, Parent Teachers Association (PTA) of one of the private schools in state, Dr. Kehinde Sanwo questioned why government should discriminate between students in public and private schools adding that, they are all children of the state that should be treated equally. 

"The parents here are good citizens of Ogun state which we are tax payers. And it is so disheartening that we are here at the MTR hospital the venue for covid-19 test. 

"When we arrived we are told 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. Why these segregation?", she queried. 

Speaking with journalists at the venue of the test, Director of Public Health, Dr. Olukayode Soyinka said he was not aware of the N25,000 covid-19 test Levy on private schools students. 

Soyinka said covid-19 test before now had been free, stressing that he was just instructed by the state commissioner for health, Dr. Tomi Coker to make himself available at the venue to provide conducive environment for the students. 

He however disclosed that, the test was organized by the state government in conjunction with a private laboratory company, 54gene under the Public Private Partnership arrangement. 

One of the officials of 54gene declined comments on the ground that he lacked power to speak to the media. 

He however explained that, his company's activities at the testing ground had the approval of the state government.