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NGO urges FG, States to increase budgetary allocation on education to 15%

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Human Development Initiative (HDI) an NGO, has urged the Federal and state governments to increase budgetary allocation on education to 15 per cent to enhance the sector.

Mr Johnson Ibidapo, the Programme Manager, HDI, gave the advice on Wednesday during a sensitisation programme for basic education stakeholders in Ojo Local Government Area in Lagos.

Our correspondent reports that the NGO has conducted the sensitization programme in nine communities within the state.

The programme manager said that basic education required adequate funding to lay proper education foundation for the pupils.

“The government needs to do more in terms of funding Universal Basic Education (UBE) in order to get more out of school children back to school.

“If these out of school children are not giving the opportunity to go to school, they will become hoodlums and problem to the society.

“The Federal government must improve and increase the allocation on education to at least 15 per cent to improve the sector.

“At this juncture, I want to call on the state governments to stop relying on FG intervention of UBE fund.

“UBE fund has now become the major source of funding basic education in many states in Nigeria.

“This is wrong because education is on the concurrent list, which means that both Federal and State can legislate on it differently.

“States should source for alternative way of funding to develop education in their states,” he said.

Ibidapo said the states should not rely on the little money coming from Federal Government, which was just two per cent of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

He said the money was too small to fund basic education.

Ibidapo said that the objective of the programme was to ensure basic education tools and services get delivered to the school, “not just in the right quality, but also appropriate auditing of furniture delivered to schools.

“We also want to know how we can reduce out of school pupils in Nigeria. Before COVID-19, there were 13.3 million out of school children.

“Now that children are at home due to the pandemic, we must find ways on how they will go back to school again.

Also speaking, Ms Bolanle Dare, the Senior Programme Officer, HDI, urged parents to ensure children complete basic education before engaging in any vocation.

According to Dare, parents should ensure their children go to school and complete their education, this means the nine years basic education starts from primary school to Junior Secondary School.

“Every child that has reached school age in your community has to go to school, and parent should make sure that they feed their children well before going to school,” she said.

Mrs Damilare Ashafa, a parent, urged the Lagos State government to provide classrooms and conducive atmosphere for learning in primary schools in the state.

Ashafa said that most of the schools in Ojo Local Government Area do not have enough classrooms and chairs for learning.

According to her, it is disheartening to see about 60 to 70 pupils in a classroom, some sitting on the floor.

Raji Rasak

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