Posted By: Abiodun Nejo
Ekiti State government and the state’s chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC, yesterday disagreed over condition of the education sector in the state.
The APC accused the government of commercialising education and killing legacies of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo in the sector.
But the government denied the allegation, saying the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, administration was at present making efforts to restore education allegedly killed by the last APC administration in the state.
APC Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatunbosun, yesterday in a statement in Ado-Ekiti said the recent announcement by the governor on the need to commercialise basic education was a disservice to the memory of the late sage.
“It is another rape on the constitution of Nigeria, which guarantees Free Universal Basic Education from primary school to JSS3.
Olatubosun lamented that by “the insensitive policy” the governor had marked himself out as “the last bastion of conservative partisans insensitive to universal quest to acquire basic education.”
He regretted that the governor was interested in money-making instead of playing a role that would give citizens hope to survive in a competitive world where education is the vehicle for social and economic mobility.
The APC spokesman urged the governor to reduce the burdens on parents he promised to help during his campaigns, saying parents and students had become distraught over the new circular by government that primary school pupils should pay N550 examination fee while students in JSS 3 and SS2 pay N1,000 each.
He said: “This is another hardship foisted on parents who are already impoverished by the poverty-friendly administration of Fayose. Governor Fayose’s lame excuse during his recent media chat on the state media that pupils and students of free education are not always brilliant is ignorance taken too far. It reveals the lack of understanding and deep-seated contempt the governor has for education.
“Many successful professionals in the Southwest today are products of Obafemi Awolowo’s free education policy of the then Western Region. Therefore, we are at a loss how Fayose arrived at his conclusion,” he said.
But the state government, in a statement by the Special Assistant to the Governor on Public Communications, Mr Lere Olayinka, said it was not planning to commercialise basic education in the State as alleged by APC.
Olayinka said: “APC government of Dr Kayode Fayemi killed education in the state and the Fayose-led PDP government is trying all it can to restore the lost glory of the state in the education sector.”