By Fabian Ekeruche
Lagos – A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Human Development Initiative (HDI) on Sunday called for a more inclusive education and more funding for the sector.
This is contained in a communique issued by Mr Samuel Ajayi, Project Coordinator, HDI, at the end of a Stakeholders’ Forum on “Gender and Tax Responsive Schools in Lagos’’.
The communique, which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, urged government to increase budgetary allocation to the education sector.
It called on stakeholders to build strong evidence base to raise awareness on existing policies and necessary laws for adequate education tax payment.
The communique noted that public education system should be more responsive to all children, especially the girl-child and the marginalised.
“Government should upgrade public schools by providing adequate infrastructure and necessary resources for effective teaching and learning.
“Government should invest more in quality teachers’ training to support inclusive education.
“Government should improve the use of technology in collection of taxes and consequently blocking loopholes in the tax administrative system,’’ the communique stated.
It explained that there was the need to intensify sensitisation of all taxable adults on voluntary payment of tax as a means to widen the ‘share’ and ‘size’ of education spending.
The communique appealed to government to ensure equity in the provision of infrastructure to solve educational challenges.
It tasked stakeholders on the need to support active movement of Civil Society Organisations to achieve structural reforms in relevant public policy and tax laws that would guarantee quality, equitable, free and inclusive public education.
It called on the media to leverage various platforms to educate and enlighten the public on tax in relation to education reforms.
“The media should use various platforms to hold government accountable to tax justice and education reforms.
“Government and all relevant stakeholders should collaborate to ensure a fair tax system that will promote the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals- 4 (SDGs-4),’’ the communique added.
NAN reports that the forum drew stakeholders from the Lagos State Ministry of Education, Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), the media, the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), among others.
It was organised by HDI in collaboration with ActionAid and support from NORAD.
Available data showed that the budgetary allocation for education in the 2019 budget fell below the 15 to 20 per cent minimum recommended for developing countries by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).