Oyo State chapter of the Socialist Party of Nigeria has condemned the call by a former chairman of the Nigerian Union of Teachers in Oyo State, Mr. Niyi Akano that the state government should reintroduce the payment of education levies.
OYOINSIGHT recalls that Akano while speaking on a radio program recently called for the reintroduction of the education levies in schools.
However, SPN in a statement signed by its state secretary, Ayodeji Adigun condemned the call.
The party stated that it is the responsibility of the government to provide quality education for students.
It noted that the failure of the Seyi Makinde led government in the state to provide adequate learning environment for students is because the administration was not prepared for it.
The party also called on parents and teachers to unite and demand for proper and adequate funding of public education in the State
The statement of the party read in parts: “The attention of the Socialist Party of Nigeria, SPN, Oyo State Chapter, has been drawn to the call for the reintroduction of the payment of education levies across primary and secondary schools in the State. According to media reports, the call was credited to the immediate past chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) in Oyo State, Niyi Akano while featuring as a guest on a radio programme in Ibadan, Oyo state capital.
“SPN rejects this kind of call. It is anti-people and insensitive to the mass agony and misery under which million of working people in the State groan at this present time. Again, it is quite unfortunate that such a call emanated from someone who ordinarily should have been at the fore front of an advocacy for free and quality education in the State, being the immediate past chairman of NUT in the State.
“Ither statements like “parents in the state should be ready to make sacrifice over their wards” which was credited to Mr Niyi Akano is a wrong indictment on mass of the poor parents in the State. As far as we of the SPN are concerned, it is not out of place if parents rely on the Government to always pick the education obligation of their wards. After all, proper and adequate funding of free, quality education for all citizen regardless of religion affiliation and social status is a social responsibility of every purposeful government.
“Unfortunately, despite the huge noise the Engr Seyi Makinde-led government had made around the so called cancellation of the education levy, which the regime often misnames to as “free education”. The practical realities across primary and secondary schools in the State are far from what can be described as a free, quality education. Parents have continued to bear a huge cost of education for their wards. This is because the so called cancellation of the education levy is without additional fund committed to ensure proper and adequate funding of public education in the State.
“This kind of unfortunate situation has no doubt subjected education workers particularly teachers and heads of schools like principals and Headteachers in the case of primary schools to face an impossible task. Some responsibilities like provision of some materials like chalks, diaries, registers, biro and lesson notes for the teaching, assessment and evaluation of students and pupils are usually procured from the limited fund often generated through the education levy which was cancelled by Engr Seyi Makinde-led government. Now, in most schools it has become the responsibilities of Teachers and Head of schools. The implication of this therefore is that students are usually left idle due to lack of materials for teaching, assessing and evaluating especially whenever, the heads of schools are overwhelmed by this responsibility and becomes so obvious that they can no longer continue to undertake this task with their hard earned meagre salary.
“In fact, there are instances where Teachers and administrators of schools were made to suffer different forms of punitive measures under the Engr Seyi Makinde-led government for the “offence” that they solicit for both financial and material supports from parents whenever they are faced with the unfortunate situation where they lack teaching materials to be used for students.
“Given this kind of terrible and unfavourable working condition under which mass of teachers and heads of school are forced to work in the State, a clamour for a proper and adequate funding of public education by the Engr Seyi Makinde-led government in order to guarantee a better and improved working condition for mass of educational workers across the secondary and primary schools in the State is what is appropriate and expected of a past chairman of Nigeria Union of Teachers NUT; a trade union created for the purpose of ensuring an adequate defence and protection of the aspirations and interest of teachers in the State.
“The fact that the poor condition of working and learning continues across primary and secondary schools today shows that the cancellation of the so called education levy by the Engr Seyi Makinde’s led government is without additional financial commitment for proper and adequate funding of public education in the State. This therefore gives an affirmation to the SPN position that the cancellation of the so called education levy is not fundamentally driven by any interest in providing quality education in the State but by the self serving interest of using such a proclamation as a tool of propangada by Engr Seyi Makinde-led government. This is usually with a view to give a false impression to the public that the regime is pro working people and different from the preceding regimes.
“The truth is that Engr Seyi Makinde-led government like other preceding regimes in the State are pro-capitalist government which are usually driven by the motive of protecting the profit interest and greed of the few members of the billionaire class at the expense of the social and economic need of mass of the working but suffering people of the State. This is why the huge amount claimed to have been voted on education in the 2020 budget has not translated to any meaningful improvement in the overall state of public education in Oyo State.
“Unfortunately, this will continue to be the case except teachers, students and parents are united to fight for proper and adequate funding of public education at all levels in the State. Beyond this is the need for mass of the working people in the state to join us in SPN and help to build the Party towards the enthronement of a government of workers and the poor that is based on a socialist programme. This is the only government that can guarantee an ⁰adequate and proper funding of public education under a democratic control and management of the working people and ensuring an improvement in both the conditions for learning and working across public school in the State.”