A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO),Voice of Ogun Women(VOW) has expressed concerned over the current reported request by the Ogun State Government that students in boarding schools are to pay the sum of N25,000 for coronavirus tests before resumption.
Penpushing reports that the position of the women was made known in a statement issued by its Convener, Mrs Doyin Ogunbiyi declaring that there should be parity in government policies as they affect children in both private and public schools in the State.
The statement argued that any policy that has the semblance of discrimination must not be promoted by the government, stressing that it was uncalled for, for parents whose source of income had been seriously affected in the last 6 months should be further burdened by government
‘Much as we appreciate the untiring efforts of the State Government to stem the spread of the virus and restore a near normal situation in the State, VOW, is of the view that there should be parity in government policies as they affect children in both private and public schools in the State. Any policy that has the semblance of discrimination must not be promoted by the government’.
‘We may ask why parents whose source of income had been seriously affected in the last 6 months should be further burdened by government; whereas some category of elite citizens who could afford to pay for the test and treatment got tested and treated for free?’
‘Why should the SS3 boarders, who are bonafide children of the state, who are entitled to healthcare, now pay for COVID 19 tests… This to us is an example of an anti people policy by the present administration of Ogun State’, Ogunbiyi wrote
‘If we may further ask,…What would be government’s way of palliative to children as beneficiaries of the various inflow of huge resources both financial and material. Little wonder why the general populace is taking the matter of the pandemic with levity and unseriousness’
Penpushing further reports that, the women group declared that as mothers they were against the payment, and joined the parents to plead with Governor Dapo Abiodun to override this directive and allow free test for all children in the state
‘As part of government public health and social welfare responsibility programme for children of Ogun State .This will sum up to government’s effort in building a healthy and vibrant future for our children’.
‘The Voice of Ogun women argued that owners of schools as small scale businesses should even be considered for tax holiday saying after all the schools pay Annual Renewal Fees to the State Government’.
Penpushing also reports the women urged Governor Dapo Abiodun to quash ‘this unpopular and ill thought out directive carried out by the Education Adviser and the Health Commissioner.