Chairman, Lagos State House of Assembly House Committee on Establishment and Training, Yinka Ogundimu has thrown his weight behind calls for Local Government autonomy, saying it would boost basic education delivery at the grassroots.
Ogundimu who was guest speaker at the 28th national conference of the National Association of Local Government Education Secretaries of Nigeria (NAESN) which opened at the Lagos State Basic Education Board (LASUBEB) Hall on Tuesday, said though the law stipulates that the LGAs should administer education at the primary and junior secondary levels, the lack of autonomy hampers them from performing the role.
He said: “I was having the discussion with the .NAESN President and he mentioned it in his speech. I told him that the local government must take over their responsibilities. The responsibility of the local government is to fund the primary education and how do we do this? There is a department in the local government called education department. What are their duties? Primary education should be part of the duty that should be entrenched in their yearly budget but they have taken the easy way out – Adult Education but the primary education should be part of it.”
Ogundimu, a former education secretary, said if legislative and judiciary workers could fight for autonomy, then LGAs deserved autonomy. He urged the participants to call for the amendment of the law.
In his opening remarks, chairman, LASUBEB, Mr. Wahab Alawiye-King said the programme was vital given that education is the responsibility of the three tiers of governments and therefore needs collaborative administration to succeed.
“The importance of a gathering such as this underscores your association’s pivotal role to effective and efficient service delivery and the fact that you are all well abreast of this crucial mandate. Education is a shared responsibility of the three tiers of government – that is the federal, state and local government – thus there is need for sufficient inter-agency and intergovernmental collaboration.
“Considering the enormous tasks and facilities needed for effective performance, there is a need for a collaboration and partnership approach, hence the theme of this year’s conference is apt. It seeks to engage with the challenges facing effective collaboration to complement the various agencies and stakeholders in the Universal Basic Education sector. Education Secretaries as grassroots managers’ partners have been involved such areas as capacity building and the strengthening of personnel and institutions executing different initiatives,” he said.
National President, NAESN, Dr. Hassan Sule, said in an interview that the aim of the conference was to deliberate how to keep school children in school, build capacity of teachers, and how to improve infrastructure to boost learning outcomes.
The programme was attended by education secretaries across the country, was graced by some dignitaries, including the President, Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Alabi kolade David; the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Mrs. Abosede Adelaja; the Lagos State Education Commissioner, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, represented by the Director, Basic Education Services, Mrs. Margaret Fagunrosi; the chairman, House committee on education, Okanlawon Sanni represented by Mr. Kumuyi Temitope, Chairman, Abia SUBEB, Elder Josiah Okechukwu, among others.
SOURCE: THE NATION