Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has said parents of pupils found hawking during school hours in the state will be arrested.
Fayemi, who noted that the arrest was part of measures to check declining enrolment, said, “The current school enrolment rate of 55 per cent as against 96 per cent recorded in 2014 is unacceptable to this government. Something must be done urgently to reverse the ugly trend.”
The governor, who spoke in Ado Ekiti during an education stakeholders’ meeting, lamented that many parents had yet to take full advantage of the free and qualitative education policy of his administration.
Fayemi had shortly after his inauguration in October last year declared free education from primary school to senior secondary school and abolished all education levies and the education tax introduced by the immediate past administration in the state.
He said, “Part of the responsibilities of government is to ensure that children and youths, who are the future of the nation, are properly groomed through qualitative education that will prepare them for the future.
“The state will soon begin recruitment of competent and qualified teachers who will help to raise the standard of education in the state. Government has started compiling the records of retired teachers, with a view to determining available vacancies in the teaching service.”
The governor also disclosed that the administration had begun the process of returning mission schools to their original owners, but said government would continue to monitor them to ensure the schools did not decline in standard.
Representative of National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools, Ekiti State chapter, Mr Babatunde Abegunde, who said abrogation of education levies by the Fayemi administration had taken burden of debts of school fees from parents, urged government to look into issues of multiple taxation in the education sector, which he said, “has hindered many school owners from undertaking infrastructure development in their schools.”
Parent-Teacher-Association, Ekiti State Chairman, Chief Adeola Osadare, lauded Fayemi for paying the 2019 WAEC fees for about 14,000 students in public schools across the state.
Osadare said, “The gesture will help many students who have dropped out of school to re-enroll, as there is hope of free school certificate examination registration under Fayemi’s watch.”