Kano Threatens to Sanction Private School Owners Over Fee Exploitation

The Kano State government has begun a crackdown on private schools that unilaterally increase school fees without following the laid down procedures.

It wants to stop what it calls “the excesses” of private school proprietors who force parents to buy books and uniforms from their schools.

The special adviser on Private and Voluntary Schools, Baba Umar, has issued a threat, saying the government would withdraw the licence of any private secondary school that fails to fill and return the revalidation form issued to them.

He said the Kano State government would not fold its arms and allow such exploitation to continue, saying that the issuance of the forms to the private school proprietors was necessary so as to enable the government to have data on students in all the private schools.

Umar stated: “There are over 7,000 private schools in Kano. Only 3000 collected the revalidation forms and only 2, 000 plus have returned completed forms.

“Another sin of these schools is tax evasion. Most of the schools that are supposed to remit a 10 percent tax on the school fees they collect to the state government have failed to do so, explaining that they are not operating within the ambit of the law.

“When I came onboard what I met was very pathetic because private schools were operating anyhow; they are exploiting parents through increasing exorbitant charges at their wish, despite the current economic situation the country is facing.

“An established law by the state government in 2004 mandates every private school to pay 10 percent of its total termly earnings to the state government as revenue, but unfortunately they are not complying, and this attitude will not be accepted.

“Unfortunately, I met records that private schools previously paid dues directly to the personal account of the former executive secretary of the board, which is a criminal act.”

The special adviser added that the government would do the needful as soon as it completed the revalidation exercise.