By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Governor Seyi Makinde on Saturday raised the alarm of plans by “corrupt elements” in the Oyo state education sector to frustrate his government’s Free and qualitative education policy .
The governor raised the alarm in Ibadan on Saturday while speaking at the grand finale of events marking the 90th anniversary of Government College Ibadan ,(GCI).
He declared that it had been a challenge for his government to drive its free qualitative education policy because there were corrupt elements trying to frustrate the government’s good gesture in the education sector.
The governor hinted that he recently sent out fact-finding emissaries to some schools in the state, only to discover that the free textbooks provided by the state government were not being distributed to students in some schools, saying upon the discovery,he had already given directive that the books must reach every student.
“It is a big challenge and I have to come out to say this. When we came in, we scrapped the N3,000 education levy but we have been challenged by those corrupt elements within the education sector. I have heard cases where I was told certain schools were burgled because we scrapped N3,000 but did not provide grants to schools.” he said.
The governor added, “I have also heard about situations where they came back to us and said some certain schools had only five instead of 25 teachers out of which 20 were PTA teachers. They also said they could not pay the PTA teachers because the government stopped them from collecting N3,000 education levy. They never declared to anybody that the levy was the same as PTA levy. So, I said to the Permanent Secretary that we will give Grants to schools but there must be accountability.”
He then declared that the state government will soon recruit more teachers into public schools across the state as part of his government efforts at restoring the lost glory of education in the state, saying, “we will soon advertise vacancy to recruit teachers.”
” If the PTA teachers are good enough and have the prerequisite qualifications, they will be employed. But the bottom-line is that the future of our children is at stake here. If we are saying that government is providing certain things and we cannot have value for those things, then it is a big problem and that is what we are faced with right now.”.
Governor Makinde while assuring that education ” is one of the pillars” on which his administration is resting on, said “it is only when we give knowledge to our people; that is when they can take themselves out of poverty”. He then lauded the GCI old students body for their contributions to the growth and development of the school”.
“Actually, this brings it down to where we are in the area of education in Oyo State. During my electioneering campaign, I promised the good people of Oyo State free and qualitative education but I knew that the government cannot do it alone. I am happy with the latest developments in GCI and want to promise that the government of Oyo State will partner with you.
Chairman of Government College Ibadan Old Boys Association (GCIOBA),Dr. Wale Babalakin (SAN) while speaking disclosed that the association have committed over N500 million to the development of the school and that the association would partner with the Oyo state government to return boarding system to the school, saying, the idea of a GCI as a day school without boarding system was an antithesis.