Civil Society Action Coalition on Education for All (CSACEFA), Edo State Chapter, have called for community participation in the financing of education in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area (LGA) of Edo State.

This was contained in a communique released at the end of a one-day stakeholders interactive meeting, under the auspices of CSACEFA, on decentralising Education financing through transformation in Ikpoba-Okha LGA.

The stakeholders comprising traditional rulers, religious leaders, community leaders, primary an post-primary teachers/administrators, civil society organisations, School Based Management Committee (SBMC) members and the media, are of the convergent view that financial contributions are the most obvious form of community contribution.

Speaking, the Edo State Coordinator of CSACEFA, Ronke Ojeikere while appreciating the quality of primary and post-primary education structures in Ikpoba-Okha LGA, urged parents to discourage their children and wards from patronising miracle centres.

“The quality of the education is well above average with a curricula that is up to date.

“Parents should discourage their children and wards from patronising “miracle centres” because at the end of the day, such children cannot defend their certificates. There are complaints that graduates lack the basic skills for doing their jobs,” Ronke said.

According to Ronke, “The way is for the LGA to introduce highly skilled and well- trained teachers.

She further expressed, “The free education policy in Edo State has brought about the number of children seeking basic education into primary and post-primary level leading to enrolment growing by leaps and bounds.”

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The stakeholders emphasised that community participation in the financing of Education in Ikpoba-Okha LGA should be encouraged, noting that financial contributions are the most obvious form of contribution, which may be solicited from members of the community, business associations, or even the nation as a whole.

Also speaking, the facilitator of the meeting, Agatha Osieke, Esq., said alternative ways of community contribution could be through fairs, bring-and-buy sales, craft sales, or bingos.

“When interest in building a school is spread over a wide area, the extent of fundraising may be considered.

“But the question that needed to be answered is how has the government been able to implement the state’s education budget?

“We need to know the budget and where it goes. This calls for tracking the budget on education,” Agatha noted.

A teacher from one of the primary schools, Mrs Jane Jeremiah said primary schools in Edo are now enjoying improved services. Noting that the lessons are now integrated and have gone digital.

“We now use tablets to teach; we no longer use lesson notes. Through the tablets, we are now monitored by the state government,” she stated.