The Voice of Ogun Women, VOW, a Non Governmental Organisation of women of Ogun state origin either by birth or marriage is a statement signed by it’s conveyner, Doyin Ogunbiyi is concerned over the current reported request by the Ogun State Government that Secondary School boarding students are to pay for Covid tests before resumption.
The State Government in anticipation for the resumption of academic activities for students in exit classes nationwide starting from Monday, August 3, had in a statement released on August 1, by Mrs.Ronke Soyombo, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Primary and Secondary, mandated all students in boarding houses to undergo Malaria and COVID-19 tests as condition for admission into their various boarding houses.
“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 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” the group said.
Ogunbiyi probe further saying “If we may further ask,…What would be Government’s way of palliative to Children as beneficiaries of the various in flow of huge resources both financial and material.
“Little wonder why the general populace is taking the matter of the pandemic with levity and unseriousness.”
VOW said Ogun State Women as mothers were in support of parents with children in SS3 on their stand not to pay 25k for Covid test.
“We therefore join the parents to plead with Governor Dapo Abiodun to override this directive and allow all oourchildren in the state be tested free of charge 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 heathy 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.
The body urged Governor Dapo Abiodun to quash this unpopular and ill thought out directive carried out by the Education Adviser and the Health Commissioner.