OrderPaperToday – The free education programme of the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration in Kwara has come under the searchlight of the State House of Assembly.
In this regard, the Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development, the State Universal Basic Education, the Parents Teachers Association and other stakeholders have been directed to appear before the Assembly’s Committee on Education and Human Capital Development.
The appearance will avail the stakeholders to critically appraise the rudiments of the free basic education policy of the State Government with a view to fashioning out more acceptable strategies for its implementation.
This move followed a resolution reached by the assembly due to a motion sponsored by member representing Ilorin North West Constituency Mr. Abdul Rafiu Abdulrahman co-sponsored by two others.
Mr. Abdulrahman while raising the motion said the state government in recognition of the importance of education as the bedrock of sustainable development fashioned the policy of free and compulsory basic education for all children in the state.
He however expressed concern that some school principals hide under the approved development levy of N250.00 meant for execution of projects in schools as agreed by the Parents Teachers Association to extort students thereby, questioning the genuiness of the free education policy.
Speaking in support of the motion, a member representing Kaiama/Kemanji/Wajibe Constituency, Mr. Ahmed Ibn Mohammed noted with displeasure that Principals in 1963 primary schools in the state charge independent fees and money realised from such indiscriminate levies according to him are not remitted into the coffers of the State Government.
He then suggested that government should come up with its roles and obligations and those expected of parents in the bid of streamlining the free education programme.
Deputy Speaker of the Assembly, Mr. Mathew Okedare and other legislators who also contributed on the motion identified lack of proper monitoring as bane of implementation of the policy.
In his remarks, the Speaker Dr. Ali Ahmad who referred the motion to the Committee on Education and Human Capital Development for further legislative action, emphasised the need to redefine free education policy in the state in line with current economic realities in the country.
Dr. Ahmad also enjoined the State Bureau of Statistics to justify the huge investment in it by providing needed data that will assist in restoring the lost glory of public schools in the state for the benefit of all and sundry.
He explained that when public schools in the state measure up to required standard, there will be equal opportunity for the younger generation whom he said are future leaders in the country.
The Committee according to him has one month within which to submit its report to the assembly.