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Catholic Schools, Fayose in Face-off Over Education Tax

The new education levy introduced by the Ekiti State Government is setting it against the Catholic Church, which has vowed to take the matter to court. KAMARUDEEN OGUNDELE writes about the issues

When the 2015 Ekiti State Education Summit was convened by Governor Ayodele Fayose to chart a new future for education in the state, nobody knew the outcome would generate a fresh crisis in the education sector.

Speaking on the theme, ‘Restoring the lost glory’, the Chairman of the Summit and the Oluyin of Iyin Ekiti, Oba Ademola Ajakaye, lamented that students could not construct simple sentences any longer.

“If we are able to get it right at this level, the story would change for the better,” he said urging parents to be part of the change.

The then Provost, College of Education, Ikere Ekiti, Prof. Francesca Aladejana, in her papers, said education should be built on strong moral values and religious knowledge, calling for a review of the curriculum.

In its resolution, the summit agreed that “funding of education is no more government business alone, all stakeholders must be part. It should be a cost sharing arrangement.

“Entrepreneurship education should be given priority at primary and secondary school levels; welfare of teachers should be given top priority, parents should intensify monitoring of their children and Ministry of Education officials should monitor teachers.”

The governor at the summit also promised to go after private school owners.

“We are going to take the issue of taxation seriously as no government thrives without it. Private school owners should pay up their dues and levies,” he said.

A few days after the summit, the government announced a new tax regime where pupils in primary and secondary schools would be required to pay N500 each and N1,000 each per term, respectively, if finally approved.

The state Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr. Jide Egunjobi, made this known in a press release made available by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Idowu Adelusi.

According to the statement, there are 178,263 students in the 879 public primary schools; 48,960 in Junior Secondary Schools and 55,677 in Senior Secondary Schools in Ekiti State, making a total of 282,900.

Egunjobi said all stakeholders in the education sector, including parents and teachers, consented to the introduction of the education development levy at the Summit.

“Before now, secondary school students were paying N100 as PTA levy, N300 for Extra Lesson and N600 as Examination Fee while primary school students were paying N100 as PTA levy, N300 for extra lesson and N200 as Examination fee, making N600 per term,” he said.

“Apart from the Educational Development Levy of N1,000, secondary school students will pay N500 as Parents Teachers Association’s levy, N600 for examination, N300 for extra lesson, making N2, 400 per term while it is proposed that primary school pupils will pay N100 as PTA levy, N100 for Extra Lesson, N100 for examination, making a total of N800 per term.

“Students of public schools in Ekiti were paying PTA, examination and extra lesson levies before Governor Fayose assumed office,” the statement said.

Egunjobi reiterated the government’s commitment to the restoration of the State’s lost glory in the education sector.
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