Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu on Friday cleared the airs that the ongoing audit of all the public and private schools across the state, was not to impose tax on any school.
Akeredolu through the state Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) Chairman, Hon. Victor Olabimtan, who said this in Akure pointed out that “the exercise is to enable the agency obtain comprehensive and reliable data of children of school-going age enrolled in primary and junior secondary schools.
Olabimtan, said that the exercise was in line with the provisions of the UBE Act 2004, which mandates SUBEB to conduct regular intervals, personnel audit of pupils, teaching, non-teaching staff, infrastructure, establish a basic education data bank, and conduct research on basic education in Nigeria.
He appealed to proprietors of private schools to cooperate with enumerators, saying the exercise has nothing to do with taxation.
He said: “the National Personal Audit is the audit of both teachers, students or pupils and infrastructure under the basic education system, which include primary school pupils and junior secondary school students.
“This exercise is carried out every four years and this done to educated the education bank of the country so that they can at a glance know the number of pupils in every schools, the number of teachers.
“They will also know the adequacy of the teachers, the quality of the teachers and we now go to infrastructure and take the inventory in all the schools, both public and private schools and it will be turned into the education data bank. This is where we will now use it to plan for the basic education in Nigeria.
“The first one was done in 2006 and another one 2010, before the last one in 2018. It was stopped for some time because they felt there was crisis and they were not able to do it. In 2010, it was done just for primary schools pupils and Junior Secondary Schools in public schools but in 2018, private schools were involved.
“We have a challenge and the challenge is that the private schools did not cooperate because they are thinking the government wants to use it to tax them and it entails a lit of convincing.
“The exercise has been done for three weeks, we started on the 6th of June and supposed to end on the 26th of June but we have added a week because of logistics problems.
“We have challenges in Owo where pupils have not been going to schools since the terror attack. But we hope they will resume schools now after the mid-term break that ends yesterday. We are thinking of starting the Owo Local Government Area by tomorrow.
“We have personnel in every local government area and the exercise is being done simultaneously and we have people from Abuja who joined our people from the state and also we have our people from local government too while the Zonal Education Officer coordinates and work together with SUBEB officials as a team.
“What they ask for is the pupils population, infrastructure, teachers ratio, in order to know the gap because it is this gap that those who will want to assist will study to know the area to assist and this data are taken with pictures, so that if any of our partners or NGO, World Bank, or UNESCO showed interest to intervene they will know easily which area to intervene.
“This is also done to know the number of out of school children because what UNESCO is planning is that by the year 2030 every child school going age in Nigeria must be in school and that is the target and if we don’t carry out this audit and keep in education data bank we might not be able to adequately prepare for these children.”
He implored private school owners to also key in, saying “this is a unique program, some private schools have benefited from intervention from world bank and they will continue to intervene in so many other private schools because education is a whole and not parts.
“They will also know the qualifications of the teachers to know if these schools have quality and qualified teachers and not just people frustrated because they couldn’t get job and i am happy to inform you that in all our public schools all the teachers are certified teachers and educators.
“All private schools will be captured whether registered or not, but once they are operating as schools they will be captured. The basic thing is that we want to know the number of pupils and not for taxation but to ensure education for all by the year 2030.
“Even we go to quaranic schools where they are just learning Quran, we will captured them too bit we might capture them under another acronym. Those who are suppose to be in schools to receive western education but are not receiving. We can find a way to take western education to them, they can be integrated”, he added.