By Elisha Arafin
Education experts have hailed the Ondo State government for launching an education endowment levy to boost the quality and development of education in the State.
The experts also advocated that the levy should be made mandatory for every taxable resident of the state, adding that it should be the responsibility of all to attain the principle ‘Education for all’.
Recall, Ondo State Government recently launched the voluntary levy of N1,000 to be paid by every taxable adult in the state to provide a pool of resources independent of normal government subventions to renovate, rejuvenate and upgrade education in the Sunshine State.
Reacting, a Professor of African Literature in the Department of English Studies, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Prof. Busuyi Mekusi said the endowment levy would solve several challenges confronting education in the state if appropriately managed.
The former Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in AAUA said there must be appropriate buy-in of the initiative by the citizens, public and private individuals and everybody in and outside the state.
While likening the initiative to TETFund at the federal level, he advised the State Government not to subject the disbursement of the fund to unnecessary bureaucratic process and prevent mismanagement by those saddled with the management.
Mekusi also called for transparency in budgetary allocation and disbursement for education.
“What we need to do is there should be specific details about the formula on how disbursement will be handled. Who will get what and are we targeting secondary schools first or targeting both at a time and decide the parentage to primary, secondary and tertiary institutions and I hope we have appropriate law to also support that so that we won’t be acting illegally.”
While stressing that the initiative is a commendable one, he said such should be established for security as “everybody must be involved.”
Also, the State Chairman, Nigeria Union of Teachers, Comrade Victor Amoko, also commended the initiative and advocated that the endowment levy should be made compulsory.
“Since they say education for all, that’s the principle and if we are going to have education for all, it would be the responsibility of all.
“If people are told it is compulsory and educate them on why and how, I believe they will pay with joy but if they are told it is optional, the joy to pay won’t come.
Speaking for the parents, the State Chairman, Parents-Teachers’ Association, Mr. Abimbola Omo-Oloja, said he supported any step taken towards the development of education in the State.
While saying the endowment levy should be made compulsory for taxable adults in the state, he appealed to every resident of the state to show their maximum support because education is development and progress.
Omoloja appreciated Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for his support on education development for the past 5 years and increase in budgetary allocation for education.
He, however, appealed to the government that the UNESCO policy of 36% of total budgetary allocation for education should be pursued.