Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, on his assumption of office in May 2019, declared a state of emergency in the education sector, promising to “revive” what he called the “dwindling fortune of education in the state.”
This declaration by the State Governor indicated that education today in the state needs strategic intervention and that what we have in the sector in Ogun State is a departure from what it used to be. To continue to restore the lost glory of education in the state, urgent and deliberate action must be taken.
Thereafter, on September 4, 2019, one of the national newspapers reported that the state government also declared that pupils in Ogun State public secondary schools and technical colleges were to pay certain amount of money as fee per term.
However, the state Ministry of Education described the fee as a “donation” requested by the Parents/Teachers Association (PTA). The state government was massively criticised in the media because of the fee.
On September 21, 2019, though, another media report had it that the state government finally bowed to pressure and public outcry and the state Governor then ordered the suspension of the controversial fee in public secondary schools and technical colleges in the state.
This action of the state Governor to suspend the levy to uphold his free education campaign promise is laudable and also an indication that Dapo Abiodun is people’s Governor.
In order to have effective and viable solution to the malaise of the education sector in the state, there is the need for the state government to set up its own State Education Development Trust Fund (Ogun-EDTF) that would assist the government in the delivery of its qualitative and affordable education with unfettered access for indigent students.
The objective of Ogun-EDTF will be to seek and pool funds from government, corporate bodies, associations, donor organisations and philanthropists in a bid to provide leverage in education financing in the state. The fund received will thus be used for infrastructure in schools such as classrooms, libraries, laboratories and ICT.
The fund will also be used for capacity building of teachers and students and in general, improve the quality of education to an enviable standard.
Disu, a UK-based Education Service Provider, is the CEO of Kidz Palace Group
and writes via: [email protected]