Hajia Hindatu Abdullahi, the Acting Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, said the introduction of insurance fee in unity schools was for the benefit of students and their sponsors.
Abdullahi, who spoke with newsmen on Thursday in Abuja, said the fee was informed by recent attacks in some schools and the current security situation in the country.
She disclosed that the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) made the suggestion, and was accepted by the ministry after due consideration.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that under the scheme introduced in 2014, each student is expected to pay N5, 000 every term, as insurance levy.
The scheme was designed to provide some benefits to students of unity schools.
The benefits include among others: “Payment of N500, 000 to cover a student’s school fees up to the year of graduation in the event of the death of their sponsor or guardian.
“Payment of a compensation of N500, 000 to the sponsor in case of accidental death of student.
“Payment of N500, 000 in the case of accidental permanent disability (student).
“Payment of N50, 000 burial expenses for accidental death of student and payment of N50, 000 accidental medical expenses.’’
Abdullahi said that the PTA initiated the insurance scheme after the incident at Federal Government College, Buni Yadi, Yobe State, where insurgents killed more than 43 students.
She said the Buni Yadi incident and the subsequent attacks in other schools raised concerns that made stakeholders to suggest insuring students.
“When we send our children abroad to study, we pay insurance to take care of any unforeseen; why is ours looking different?
“The PTA brought in Capital Insurance and we discovered it does not have wider coverage in the country; so we decided to use NICON Insurance which has a wider coverage.
“Is there any harm in insuring your child? PTA brought the idea and the ministry adopted and gave direction on how to go about it ,’’ she said.
However, the permanent secretary said that besides insurance, the ministry had received lots of complaints with regard to high charges in the unity schools.
Abdullahi said she would soon meet with heads of the unity schools in order to discuss issues relating to charging of fees.