The Parent Teacher Association, King’s College Lagos, says it has expended over N58 million in the last one year, as an intervention in a bid to sustain the goals of the founding fathers of the 113-year-old institutions.
Chairman of the association, Mr Sunday Ameh said this at a news conference on Friday in Lagos.
According to him, the parent body will not relent in its resolve to collaborate with the college, in its quest to internalize and sustain moral and academic excellence among students.
Ameh was speaking against the backdrop of reports in some quarters that the association was imposing unjustified levies on parents outside the government-approved N5,000 PTA levy per term, for all the unity colleges across the country.
Reports in some online media have it that some parents had stormed the main campus of the college on Thursday, Aug. 25, in protest of an alleged imposition of an extra PTA levy by the leadership of the association.
They were also protesting against claims that the management of the college, had also made it mandatory to transfer all-day students to the boarding facilities.
Reacting, the chairman debunked the claims, describing them as malicious, wicked and misleading.
“Just yesterday, I learnt that a group of persons who claimed to be Kings College parents came to the school gate and were protesting. I was not on campus at the time. However, let me make it clear that our doors have always been open to listen to and address all concerns of parents.
“The issue in question is that we had an emergency PTA meeting on July 30, to attend to some pressing matters, including academic, issues of indiscipline, high cost of items and others, that we could not attend to before students embarked on vacation.
“All of these were to ensure that we improve and sustain the standard of the college and provide a conducive environment for teaching and learning to thrive.
“At that meeting, therefore, having tabled all the challenges facing the college, parents have looked at the issues critically and in their magnanimity and wisdom, came up with a resolution to assist the college in any way possible, in a bid to keep it going.
“A motion was moved and was seconded by other parents. They agreed that they would be paying an extra N3,000 aside from the N5000 PTA levy paid every term, to cushion the effects of the challenges raised by the association’s executives, for now.
“For the purpose of clarity, the decision to pay this extra levy was strictly made by parents. It has nothing to do with imposition or increase in the levy of PTA by the executive or by the college management, as being speculated,” he explained.
Ameh expressed surprise at the news, noting that it is fake, misleading and disturbing.
He stated that the extra levy was to assist in the area of diesel and waste disposal for both campuses. The expenses of running the generating sets on the two campuses were too much for the college and we decided to intervene.
Giving a breakdown of some of the areas of intervention by the association, Ameh stated that the disposal of wastes generated on both campuses and the generation of power was depleting the meagre resources of the association, in the face of the current economic reality.
“Before now, for instance, we used to do evacuation of waste with the sum of N200,000 on both campuses per month.
“This has since changed, especially with the high cost of diesel currently. Since the issue of the high cost of diesel, the cost for PSP covering King’s College has jumped N70,000 per trip, which is now done weekly.
“We managed this for about two months ad has put us at a very high cost of maintenance. We can no longer carry out other tasks on these campuses, aside from evacuation of refuse.
“However, PTA has teachers and non-teaching staff on its salary bills monthly, which amounts to N4 million. We have a total of 53 teaching staff and 22 non-teaching staff, making a total of 75 in all, on our pay role.
“Aside from this, we also handle the cleaning of the two campuses and pay N320,000 monthly to our cleaning contractors, N560,000 to clear the incinerators in both campuses, as well as maintenance of electricals and plumbing issues.
“In all of these, we achieved without any extra levies. It is from our meagre resources,” the chairman explained.
Similarly, the Principal of the college, Mr Andrew Agada also debunked stories making the round that all students of the institution have been mandated to live on campus as boarders.
Explaining further, he said there was no way such could be feasible, considering the fact that the college lacked the facility to achieve such.
“On the said day at the meeting and based on past experience, I discussed with the parents on the possibility of having all the JSS 1 to JSS 3 students as boarders, as there was enough space for that.
“Other students aside from this category, are already exiting and for them, it is still optional. We never made any comment saying that all the students must be boarders, as we do have the capacity to do that.
“The essence of my proposal is to better manage these children, both morally and academically. I will check late coming too, truancy and aimless roaming around.
“I have instances where a few students have been involved in accidents at separate times. , right in front of the college gate here. I personally rushed them to the hospital and picked up the bills before contacting their parents.
“These, and other acts of indiscipline are what we are trying to check and nothing more. There was no time I mandated an all-boarding mode for the college,” Agada said.
He appealed to the parents not to be deceived by what he described as malicious intents of mischief makers.