Students Welfare: PTA, Concerned Parents Fall Apart At Kings College Lagos | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Students Welfare: PTA, Concerned Parents Fall Apart At Kings College Lagos

Posted: Jul 8, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Oyeniran Apata,  Lagos


As the rift between the management of the Kings College, Lagos, Kings College Parents Teacher Association (KCPTA) and a group of parents identified as the ‘Concerned Parents’ deepens; the later has called for an audit of the accounts of the elite college.

It will be recalled that the ‘Concerned Parent’ a faction of the KCPTA, had staged a protest penultimate Sunday,  over it called alleged poor welfare of students, high handedness of the school Principal, Otunba Dele Olapeju and overcrowding of the hostels among others.

Reacting to the development during a press briefing at the college’s main campus, principal of the expressed shock at the attitude of the parents that stormed the school, contending that it was a “a coup d’état against his administration.

He said, “How has visiting a day become placard and press calling day? Why after, a weeklong mid-term holiday and return of their wards to the college, this group is insisting that they must enter the college. There are 3,000 families and about 6,000 parents of which only 30 members carried out the protest”.

Accepting that some of the facilities available at the two campuses of the College can be better while others were of world class standards, the Principal said all effort and invitation extended to the group for a round table discussion with the management board of the school and the KCPTA have been repeatedly rebuffed by the group whose interests he alleged were beyond ordinary.

The Chairman School Management Board, Mr. Samuel Agun condemned the conduct of the group, contending that the elite college currently connected to the Lagos State Independent Power Project enjoyed  24 hour supply power to the hostels and the entire college while the Victoria Island annex also enjoyed alternative supply from three generators of various capacities.

KCPTA Chairman, Chief Emmanuel Oriakhi denounced the activities of the group and asp pealed to well meaning Nigerians to persuade the group not to destabilize the college he described as a ‘brand that had taken over 100 years to build’.

Giving explanation to the cancellation of the monthly visit for the month of June, the KCPTA chairman said, “The students had just returned from a one-week midterm break, on the 22nd of June, 2015. The college management felt that, having just returned from such break and with their examinations already in sight, the visiting day was not really necessary, so that the students could concentrate on their studies”.

“What kind of children will such parents breed? Are they setting good examples? Is the cancellation of a visiting day of a college enough reason to invite the media on the College and making all kinds of unsubstantiated allegation,” the chairman stated.

In a swift reaction to claims of failure to honour invite by PTA and the Principal to a meeting, spokesman of the group, Mr Obisike Nwosu at a press briefing tagged “#Save Kings College Lagos Now!” explained that the principal and KCPTA Chairman, Chief Emmanuel Oriakhi had on three instances rebuffed moves to have a meeting.

Nwosu in a statement said, “It has become the habitual manner of the school principal and his PTA chairman to repel every peaceful effort by the parents to seek their audience. Most recent one was the letter sent to the Mr Oriakhi dated June 12, 2015 where the school principal was copied. Till date the chairman has not considered it appropriate to grant the parents audience”.

He argued that if the group had not met with the management how come a donation of medical items, refrigerator and a small generator were donated and received by the principal in person from the group.

Another member of the ‘Concerned Parents’ that raised concern over the sanctity of the KCPTA income and expenditure accounts for the year ended 28th February, 2014 frowned at the expenditure of N14,774.000 and N10,479.832 for the 2013/2014 and 2012/2013 respectively on laundry where students are still made to wash their clothes.

He raised concern on the alleged spending of N3,108,660 in 2012/2013 and N2,850,000 in the 2013/2014 accounts respectively on plumbing repairs and water reticulation yet students in the hostel had no water to use in the toilets or drink.

Speaking further on unhealthy sanitary condition and water situations at the college annex, he said, “After a tour of the annex campus of the school, we found a deplorable water and sanitation environment. This is apparently the major cause of the incessant hospitalization or our sons in the school.

“We found particularly in the Sheraton and PTA Hostels insufficient toilets without running water. The toilets known as Kereku Toilets have no running water and are unhealthy for the students.

Calling for a scrutiny of the college spending, Nwosu’s in the statement challenged the donation of N3, 376,100 to stakeholders, contending that the group demanded for explanations and identification of the persons and for what purposes were the money given.

“Based on the Income and Expenditure Account for the year ended 28th February, 2014, the income generated 2012-2013 was N161, 410. 876 and expenditure was N150, 595.012 with the balance of N10,815, 855 while in 2013-2014 was N145,045.430 and N134,062,932 for income and expenditure respectively with N10,982, 498 balance.

“It was recorded that salaries and wages N26, 106, 000 and N33, 843,500 for 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 respectively this is totaling N59, 949,500. We believe it is appropriate to ask; for who and what purpose was the money paid? He added.

He challenged the management of the school for flouting Federal Government directive to return N5, 000 collected from parents for the purchase of an insurance policy that was shrouded in terms and conditions not known to all concerned.

Addressing issue of overcrowding of classrooms and over commercialisation of the school premises, the group spokesman stated further that the issue had been a recurring and major issue of a petition dated November 29, 2011 sent to the Honourable Minister of State of Education, Federal Ministry of Education by some concerned parents of Kings College.

The group alleged that a scam in admission led to over population of classrooms, contending that a classroom with 50 student capacity now accommodated over 62 students.

Nwosu, who stated that this development had led to the untold hardships by students who return home with bed bugs, and rashes as a result of overcrowding, called for a cutback in the number of students’ population at the college.

“Most importantly, we use this opportunity to call on the President of the Old Students Association, Mr. Hakeem Bello-Osagie and other prominent old students of the college that include; the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, the Emir of Kano His Highness Sanusi Lamido, Senator Sola Akinyede, Senator Udo Udoma, Wale Adenuga among others to intervene and save Kings College from this ignoble path orchestrated by the current principal and the PTA,” the group said.

At the end of a tour earlier conducted with journalists on the two campuses of the college for hours by the principal, the KCPTA chairman, and top management staff of the college, the over water tanks and reservoirs were seen filled to the brims with water.

The principal who submitted that the facilities at the college  can be better and parents made to pay for hostel fee put at N8,000 per term, in company of some staff of the college resident on the campus, conducted journalists round the students’ hostels, dining halls, clinic, toilets, as well as the new hostel building under construction at the main campus.

At the Victoria Island annex of the college, three electricity generating sets of different capacities lit up the campus as journalists took time to inspect a block of toilets, water treatment plant, the clinic, the laundry, lecture theaters, school auditorium, as well as the college barbing salon.