While several stakeholders in the education and outside the sector are calling for an improved funding of the sector and at the same time improve accessibility by all and sundry, it seems the government is thinking otherwise.
At the 63rd Ministerial session of the national council of education, a new directive concerning levies for school children was debated and made it to the communique.
According to the new proposal which still needs approval before it can be implemented, it was proposed that pupils in primary schools will pay five hundred Naira each while students in secondary schools will pay one thousand Naira only.
The import from this is that government is about to reduce educational accessibility in the country while at the same time extends the commercialization of education which is currently the state of the tertiary education to the primary and secondary schools which are the foundational level of learning.
This is coming at a time when the number of out of school children is growing on a daily basis.
In a recent statement by the Kano state governor, Ibrahim Ganduje he stated that Kano alone has over two million out of school children. That is the population of a state like Ekiti!
This simply means what we need to do is that education must be free and compulsory.
The introduction of levy under any guise is a turn off for individuals that are not willing to educate their wards in the first place which will further contribute to the numbers of out of school children in the country.
At the moment, there are calls for the amendment of the UBEC act to accommodate both primary and secondary education in a bid to improve the quality of education in the country.
While we are yet to actualize that, the introduction of the levy is counterproductive as it will reverse the current gains being made in the sector.