It is more than a year since the Enugu State commissioner for education, Dr. Simon Ortuanya promised that primary schools would be receiving N25, 000 (twenty five thousand naira) as subvention per term, however, online information portal, DailyPost, has revealed that no school has received such money.
Yet, the budgetary allocation to education in the state has increased from 2012 to date. The commissioner had told journalists in January 2012 that all primary school heads in the state would be receiving the subvention to enable them attend to critical needs of their schools. According to him: “On the part of the headmasters, instead of N600 or N1000, per month, government has now said they will be receiving N25, 000 subvention every term. With this, they can buy chalk, repair leaking roof, and solve other things without putting pressure on the pupils”.
A year after, investigation has shown that headmasters are still running the schools with their meager salaries; a headmaster in one of the schools said despite all promises by the state government, the situation has not improved. The headmaster lamented that apart from N600 and N920 in some cases, primary schools are not receiving any other subvention from government.
According to one of the school heads, “they don’t provide any other thing like chalk, chalkboard, tables, seats, registers and other teaching aids… We use our money to buy all those things. It is really a difficult situation for us because the pupils are not allowed to pay any money, yet government does not want to provide us with basic things… To make sure that we retain our pupils, the teachers also contribute money; tell me what you can use N920 to do in a term. It is so bad for us here”.
Other school heads share their experiences: “It is so bad that government should be living in deceit, they have been giving us political promises; they stopped us from collecting levies from pupils yet they can’t fulfill their promises. They told us about this N25, 000 subvention since 2011, but up till now, nobody has collected such money even for a term… We have no option than to use our salaries because if the pupils run away to private schools, we will lose our jobs. We collect N600, some N920, while the highest get N1000 per term,” lamented one of the school heads.