- It is sad that funds are not released to the ministry to operate – Okechukwu
- We are getting away from the traditional way of learning and moving into high-tech education – Chuma-Udeh
By: IFEANYI Okonkwo
The Anambra State House of Assembly Committee on educationn has expressed displeasure over slash in education from N3.23 billion to N1.1billion in the 2022 revised budget presented by Governor Chukwuma Charles Soludo.
Chairman, House Committee on Education and member representing Aniaocha 2 Constituency Hon. Ejike Okechukwu while speaking at the 2022 reverse budget defence said education is the bedrock of any society.
“The education ministry is self sustaining because it generates revenue annually from students’ tuition, sports levy and exam fees. These money are paid directly into government’s account.
“It is sad that these funds are not released to the ministry to operate which is why our students are being exploited, they pay these levies twice or three times in a year.
“The slash in the budget is unacceptable. We are suppose to be working towards having 10 per cent of our budget allocated to education as recommended by the United Nations Children’s Fund. Not less than two per cent allocated annually, ” he said.
Hon. Okechukwu urged the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning who prepared the budget to look into an upward review of the education budget.
Also speaking, Hon. Nonso Smart Okafor, member representing Nnewi North Constituency, said that the Education sector should no be a revenue venture for the state.
“The ministry generate so much yearly to run their activities but once it enters into the government treasury, it will be used to fund other state projects. That is not okay,” Okafor said.
Other Committee members who spoke said that the budgetary allocation to education sector was unrealistic and the slash would lower the standard of teaching and learning, as well as development of students.
The Commissioner for Education, Prof. Ngozi Chuma-Udeh, said that the ministry’s records in 2021 showed that over N636 million and N246 million were generated from the state’s secondary and primary schools respectively.
Chuma-Udeh said the ministry was working on a change in the curriculum of education from the conventional method of teaching to skills training and technology.
“We want to train and graduate students who will not be dependent on the state but be self-reliant and contribute meaningfully to the development of the state.
“We have a lot of reforms to carry our but we are surprised that our budget was slashed and when I queried, I was told that the state government cannot fund the initial budget of N3.23 billion.
“We are appealing to the Assembly to look into an upward review of the budget to help us carry out our programmes optimally. she said.
Speaking to correspondents in an interview after the defense Prof Chuma-Udeh said ‘We are determined to give students condusive environment and atmosphere of learning. We also impute into the curriculum dependable skills that will make them wholesome and progressive human beings.
“We are getting away from the traditional way of learning and moving into high-tech education. Most of the delapidated primary schools will be renovated. We will have new teachers recruited, well trained teachers who will also continue upgrading themselves through symposiums, conferences”.