DAILY POST gathered that Makinde through his Commissioner for Education, Daud Shangodoyin had recently declared that payment of WAEC fees was not part of his free education policy.
Makinde insisted that payment of the West African Examination Council (WAEC), examination fees is the sole responsibility of parents in the state. He posited that it was the responsibility of the parents to pay the WAEC fees for their children.
But, SPN while reacting frowned at what it described as false impression and misrepresentation.
The party in a statement signed by its Secretary, Comrade Ayodeji Adigun, a copy of which was made available to DAILY POST on Monday, said it believed that the cost of registration for any examination whether internal or external is an integral, crucial and inseparable part of any meaningful free education policy.
Adigun said, “Free education policy without payment of WAEC fees is incomplete and deceitful. SPN Oyo State chapter decries the recent declaration credited to Engineer Seyi Makinde led government in the state that the payment of the registration fee of students in public secondary school in the state who are due for an enrollment for this years edition of the West African Examination Council, WAEC, examination is not part of the regime free education policy.
“SPN frown at this kind of false impression and misrepresentation. It is our belief in SPN that the cost of registration for any examination whether internal or external is an integral, crucial and inseparable part of any meaningful free education policy. No formal education is complete without an examination. This implies, that any education policy that fail to incorporate this as its integral part is not encompassing, hence fake and deceitful!
“The impression that it is the sole responsibility of the parents to pay the examination fee of their children is not true. Examination fee is an integral part of the cost of education and it is the social responsibility of the government and not of the parents. SPN therefore, holds that there is no basis for the Seyi Makinde-led government not to be able to fulfil this obligation, especially with the much vaunted 22.37% of the estimated budget of N208 Billion for 2020 the regime claimed to have allocated to education.
“It is in the light of this we call on the Engr Seyi Makinde-led government to rescind the decision and the plan to abdicate its reasonability of paying the examination fee of students in public secondary schools across the state that will be due to enroll for WAEC examination this year. To us in SPN, this declaration has further reinforced our earlier suspicion over whether or not the motive behind the so called free education policy of the Engr Seyi Makinde-led government is to promote academic excellence of students across the state or just being used as a mere instrument of propaganda. If truly the so called free education policy is to promote academic excellence, there shouldn’t have been any plan to abdicate the responsibility of paying the WAEC examination fee.
“Moreover, having this kind of declaration coming at a period when the regime claimed it has allocated 22.37% of the estimated budget of N208billion to education has further showed that beyond the problem of poor and inadequate funding bedeviling the education sector is also a greater problem of mismanagement and looting of the available resources to the sector. It is our believe in SPN that except the resources at the disposal of the state is often subjected to the democratic control and management of the working people themselves, those resources no matter how huge will always be looted by members of the ruling elites. In other words, huge allocation without democratic management and control will not translate into any meaningful improvement in the life of the working people.
“It is in the light of this we call on Engr Seyi Makinde to ensure the amount of fund equivalent to the 22.37% claimed to have been allocated to the education sector should be subjected to the democratic control and management of committee of elected representative of students, parents and workers in the education sector. It is only this kind of committee in charge of the resources allocated to the sector that can guarantee judicious use of this fund. Therefore, it will be possible to begin to address the most important areas of needs of students and education workers such as provision adequate and well-equipped facilitates like classrooms, laboratories, libraries, hostels, health centres, etc as well as well-remunerated and motivated workers.
“We call on teachers, students and parents to demand from Seyi Makinde-led government to introduce measures as we have articulated above in order to ensure the judicious use of the allocation to education and also pay examination fee students as part of his free education regime.
“If it is difficult or impossible for the Seyi Makinde-led government implement this kind of proposal, it is because the Seyi Makinde/PDP-led government is a pro-capitalist government, like the previous Ajimobi government. The fundamental basis of existence and formation of such a government in the final analysis is to ensure that profit interest and aspiration of the few members of the billionaire class whether in government or business are defended and protected at the expense of the need and interest of the working but the poor people.
“Therefore, to achieve an arrangement whereby the resources of the state is subjected to the democratic management and control of the working people will require the workers and poor people government formed on the basis of socialist plan. Only a socialist plan can ensure the use of both the human and material resources of the society for the benefit of all.
“We therefore call on workers, youth and the poor masses in the state to join and support the SPN and help build it as a strong party that is capable of defeating all anti-poor political parties including the APC and PDP in the state and form a pro- working people government that will be run on the basis of a socialist programme”.