Education Council ends 63rd meeting in Abuja

By Temitope Mustapha, Abuja

Education Council meeting seeks additional funding for Eduaction at its 63rd meeting ends in Abuja.

Stakeholders in Education have been urged to explore additional taxation for adequate funding of the sector.

The Minister of State for Education, Professor Anthony Anwukah gave the charge during the closing of the 63rd meeting of the National Council on Education held in Abuja.

Professor Anwukah said the additional taxation would boost funding of the sector.

A major approval was initially made in the communiqué for the payment of N500 and N1000 respectively as compulsory development funds by Primary and secondary school students.

A delegate objected it, saying that “the approval violates the free education mandate programme of the Universal Basic Education Commission as stated in its Universal Basic Education Act of 2004.’’

Responding, Professor Anwukah said the approval should be allowed to pass through policy stages as the council was strategising on ways to increase funding in the education sector.

The Permanent Secretary, Sonny Echono said parents and pupils should make contributions towards funding of their education, saying that the approval should be removed from the communiqué and be subjected to further discussion.

On suggested sources of adequate funding for education, the Council approved the establishment of Education Bank and Students Loan Boards by states at concessionary interest rate to allow students gain easy access to fund.

The meeting also resolved that Education Fund should be established by all States of the Federation with special emphasis on funding Teacher Development and Secondary Education.

Special Intervention Fund
The council also said establishment of a Special Intervention Fund for persons with ‘Special Needs’ should be made by all states.

On separation of Religious Studies at the basic education level, the Council approved separated curriculum for Christian Religious Studies CRS, Islamic Studies, IS and National Values for implementation in Primary and Junior Secondary Schools nationwide.

It urged the Nigerian and state governments, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT and relevant Stakeholders to collaborate and develop a policy on safety and security in schools.

In the Communiqué was also an approval for the re-establishment of State Education Development Fund (SEDFund) and other funds to create additional and sustainable funding source,  to improve education service delivery in post-basic schools for the achievement of 2030 Agenda.

The Council urged States, the Federal Capital Territory and all Local Government Areas and owners of schools to, as a matter of urgency augment the services of uniformed security officers with registered Vigilante groups and Community Neighborhood Watch.

The Communiqué was adopted by the Council by a motion moved by Gombe State and seconded by Rivers State.


Mercy Chukwudiebere