To breathe life into the education sector of Oyo State, a civil society organization, the Civil Society Action on Education For All (CSACEFA), Oyo State chapter, has urged the state government to resuscitate the Education Trust Fund which the immediate past administration of the state introduced.
According to the organization, the initiative, to a large extent, will help to accelerate development in schools and, on the long run, help the state government achieve better access to quality education for all and sundry.
Oyo CSACEFA made this known at a press conference to inform the public via the media with the state of basic education programmes and projects in the state and the latest activities the coalition had embarked on to actualise most of its set goals.
Dr Oluwabukola Olatunji, Oyo State CSACEFA coordinator government continued with the school governing board initiative which was also brought in by the past administration but overlooked the education trust fund.
He, however, assured that the coalition had reached out to the necessary stakeholders including Oyo state ministry of education, science and technology on the need to have the trust resuscitated.
The coalition said since its involvement in the take-off of a workshop on Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA), a World Bank programme aimed at enrolling out-of-school children back to school, the agency of the state government in charge of the project had refused to carry the coalition along.
The state coordinator stressed that the role of CSACEFA in the process was to increase the project’s awareness and to carry out monitoring and evaluation.
CSACEFA commended the state government for increasing the state’s budgetary allocation to education from 10% to 23%, depending on the increment on the state government’s desire to access grants for the Global Partnership for Education two (GPE 2).
The project is a four-year (2020-2024) funded Education Development Assistance (EDA) to support state and Federal Government systems for enhanced efficiency and effectiveness in the provision of equitable quality education for Nigeria.
While explaining the positives from the increased allocation, the coalition’s immediate past state coordinator, Mr Moshood Folorunsho stated that the state government needed to allocate a certain percentage of its annual budget to education to enable it to access the grant on GPE2, noting that the increased funding and grant would assist the government to entrench access to equitable and qualitative education in the state.
On the Federal Government’s homegrown school feeding programme, CSACEFA noted that the programme which kicked off in 2018 in the state had stopped.
“We don’t know why but the Oyo State government through the ministry of education is planning to scale up the programme. In 2018, CSACEFA Oyo State chapter also carried out a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation exercise on the programme in Oyo State.
“The major finding of the M&E exercise was that Oyo State did not pay its counterpart funds to the programme, hence the programme only included school pupils from primary one to three, leaving the upper classes. Because of the availability of free food in the lower classes, pupils felt reluctant to gain promotion to the upper classes where there was no free food.”