Some first year students under the Free Senior High School at the Dabokpai Senior High School in Tamale have been denied access to dormitories after they were allegedly unable to pay a mandatory levy of GHC120 demanded by authorities for a school badge, cross sandals, PTA dues and uniform, all to be supplied by the headmaster.Under the Free Senior High School policy, beneficiaries will pay no admission, library, science center, computer lab, examination and utility fees but fresh students placed at this school are turned away or denied dormitories for not paying the amount levied.
Collection of the charges was divided among the Headmaster and House master. Payment for the cross sandals, PTA dues and uniform were being made to the headmaster. The House Master is responsible for the school badge.
Students told Starr News that they were paying GHC25 for the badge to be sewn onto their school uniforms, GHC15 for PTA contribution and GHC30 for cross sandals. The students were, however, unable to say how much was levied on school uniform.
Some students confirmed they had paid the levy and others said they were asked to go home for not paying. Parents were seen lined up in front of the school’s dusty administration block and one after the other they entered the office of the headmaster and returned later without a receipt showing any transaction.
Some of the students who came from far distance were also seen looking worried as they sat on their chop boxes with other belongings kept under a nim tree standing on the compound of the administration block. They spoke to Starr News saying they had no prior knowledge about the levy and their parents also did not budget for it.
Some of them were still loitering in the school without being giving dormitories to even secure their items. Others were totally confused and one borrowed our mobile phone to inform his parents back at home about the imposition.
“They will not give you badge; they will not give a House or anything if you don’t pay. The House master is collecting it but I don’t know his name because we are new comers,” one student told Starr News.
Authorities of the school have refused to comment on the matter. A man who refused to disclose his identity in a dramatic encounter threatened to assault Starr News’ Northern regional correspondent after refusing him access to the headmaster and demanded he leaves the administration premises.
The man first demanded for the identity of the correspondent after forcing him to divulge his mission and when a staff ID was given to him, he handed it back and said the headmaster couldn’t speak to the reporter.
The correspondent told the man he wanted to hear that from the headmaster himself and that infuriated the man who warned to drag him out forcibly.
Students in this school take lessons under trees and in wooden structures due to an ongoing infrastructural upgrade. Boarding students are being huddled in untidy and overcrowded dormitories.