Private school owners in Osun State are lamenting the sharp decline in enrollments, following parents’ withdrawal of their children and wards, and sending them to public schools.
Some members of the state’s chapter of National Association of Private School Proprietors of Nigeria, confirmed that the rate of pupils and students’ enrollment into private schools in the state had been on the decline in the last few years.
The affected school proprietors stated this as part of reasons for their inability to meet up with tax payment.
The officials of the Osun State Internal Revenue Service, OIRS, had, few weeks ago, gone on standard enforcement visit to some of the private organisations, including private schools, banks, hotels, companies and industries to ascertain the level of their compliance to taxation, operational rules and standards.
The decision of the agency, according its Chairman, Mr. Bicci Alli, was to complement government’s efforts towards the actualisation of improved and robust revenue capable of boosting the state’s internally-generated revenue, IGR.
It was gathered that the action of the agency led to the sealing off of some private investments over violation of some operational rules and that they were also found wanting of regular tax payment to the state.
However, the private school proprietors and proprietresses attributed their failure to meet up with the agreed tax to a sharp decline in the volume of students being enrolled by their schools per session.
They said parents now prefer public schools education for their children.
Two of the proprietors, who preferred anonymity, described the huge invest-ment made in education sector, particularly the infrastructure being put in place by Governor Aregbesola’s government, as the major cause of their travails.
The duo, who claimed to have been in the private education system for over 18 years, said prior to the present administration, they had not found it difficult to pay tax as they had enough students and earned enough .
Confirming the develop-ment, the Commissioner for Education, Mr. Kola Omotunde-Young, said efforts by Aregbesola’s administration not only to revive education but also to build a virtuous man that will be productive, has come to fruition as enrollment in public schools are annually on the rise.
Omotunde-Young said the present administration has demonstrated to the world that education remains the foundation for national development and a key instrument for socio-economic progress.