Stakeholders ask Ondo to spend N30b education budget on infrastructure, personnel development

Education Ondo State

Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu

Ondo State Government has been urged to spend the N30 billion allocated to education in the 2022 budget proposal on infrastructural and personnel development.

However, the stakeholders who conceded that the 16 percent allocation to education in the budget is below the UNESCO’s standard of 26 percent, commended the state government for raising the bar in education development in the last four and half years.

They submitted there are huge infrastructural deficit in the state educational sector, but that the budget if well implemented will have positive impacts on the sector.

Ondo State Government in its 2022 budget allocated N30.869b representing 16.11 percent to education.
Speaking on the issue, State Chairman of Nigeria Union of Teachers, Comrade Victor Amoko opined the allocation will uplift the standard of education in the state if implemented.

Amoko stated that it is an improvement on last year’s and that government should be commended for that.

“The greatest problem is even the implementation. Education being the bedrock of any society, our watchword should be education first and if the amount allocated in the budget is implemented to the letter, education standard in the state will improve”, he said.
He said focus should be on personnel development and monitoring since attention has been given to infrastructure development in the last five years.

“Government has done well in the area of infrastructure like construction of school buildings, perimeter fencing, borehole and so on in the last five years. This time around I think government should focus on welfare of personnel, teachers and instructors.

“Monitoring is another important aspect. If you invest, there is the need to monitor. If there are no enough staff to monitor, let us employ more to make the work effective”, he said.

According to the state Chairman of Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools, ASUSS, Comrade Tajudeen Balogun, the amount allocated is an improvement overtime which should be able to carry out necessary advancement in the sector.

Balogun called for infrastructural development in the secondary sector as promised by the governor and an improved welfare package for teachers and other personnel who are drivers of educational policies in the state.

President of All Nigerian Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools in Ondo state, Mr Ajinde Mebawondu called for recruitment of personnel and improved welfare for existing ones in the budget.

He also suggested that decay in facilities both human and non human be addressed adding that other areas can be adapted to.
On his own, Secretary of Parents Teachers Association, Dr Toyin Olobayo said the amount is small considering the needs of the sector and the expectation of stakeholders.

Olobayo stressed that infrastructural decay, security, shortage of teachers, welfare of personnel among others should be addressed in the budget.

Prof. Victor Olumekun of Adekunle Ajasin Universiry Akungba Akoko congratulated the governor for allocating 30 billion naira to education in the 2022 budget proposal.

He said the governor has been doing well in the area of education since he came to power but that he can still do more.

“I know Ondo State government is doing reasonably well but that is far below the standard of UNESCO. UNESCO recommends about 26 percent funding for education. Education is an investment. Unfortunately, because of paucity of funds, and if you don’t invest what happens”?

On where to focus the budget on, the don said it has to be holistically spread to all levels of education including technical.

“I won’t be selfish to say it should be spent on tertiary education. What is going to be the fate of tertiary education if you neglect primary education or even juvenile education? Education has several compartments from kindergarten to university and even post graduate level. The spending has to go round the various levels of education.

“So, if we want to talk about spending on education, it has to be all levels of education. Look at what is happening to technical education. Nobody is talking about technical education. Everybody wants to go to the university. The technical colleges are left unfunded. They are not discharging, yet they were established for a particular purpose.”

“A retired school principal, Alhaji Jimoh Ayegboka called on those implementing the budget to see that the implementation policy is followed to the letter.

Ayegboka suggested that more of the fund should be spent on schools’ renovation, purchase of relevant educational and science equipment, increase grant to school administrators and employment of teachers to correct the shortage of teaching staff in schools across the state.

An Educational consultant, Dr Owokoniran Lawal said the state government should ensure those who will be in charge of fund disbursement, allocation and implementation are not compromised.
Owokoniran want a careful monitoring of all the processes of the implementation of the budget and careful appraisal of the results on a quarterly basis.

The Hope

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