Saturday, August 22, 2015 12:03 am
Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State today said that the decision of his administration to stop payment of the West African Secondary School Certificate Examination fee for candidates in the state and the introduction of N3000 annual Developmental Levy for each secondary school pupil in the school were emergency and temporary measures.
The governor said the decisions were borne out of the economic reality in the state and the desire to address abysmal performance of candidates in the examination.
He stated further that the decision to introduce levy was taken after it was discovered that parents no longer involve themselves in the education of their children adding that Parents Teachers Association, community leaders and individual parents were engaged in a discussion before arriving at the decision.
Oyo State now earns around N3bn from Federal Allocation while we have a wage bill of more than N5bn. Our Internally Generated Revenue is N1bn, so every month, we will continue to owe if we don’t adjust our spending”
“With the paucity of fund in the state, we had to face the reality that we could not continue to sponsor children without involving their parents in a way. This is why we introduced the developmental levy. It’s just for a period of time, as soon as things improve for the state financially, we will put it down. It is an emergency situation that we must address.
“Training of children is not a sole responsibility of government or teachers, parents must play their role too. We discussed with the parents and realised that because parents were not involved in secondary education of their children, they did not bother what happened to them. We set up a committee to discuss with Parents Teachers Association, community leaders, individual parents and so on. Interestingly, many of the parents felt that if they were also contributing by paying something, they would be more attentive to the education of their children.”
While pointing out that the levy was agreed with the parents, Ajimobi said that the government was aware of the ‘political backlash’.
“The N3000 levy was equally jointly agreed at but I must point out that the emergency situation will not be forever. We envisage political backlash to the decision but we cannot promise what we cannot afford. Oyo State now earns around N3bn from Federal Allocation while we have a wage bill of more than N5bn. Our Internally Generated Revenue is N1bn, so every month, we will continue to owe if we don’t adjust our spending”, he said.