By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan.
Governor Abiola Ajimobihas said Oyo State Government has set up a 31 member Education Reform Initiative Committee to widen its scope of consultations on the proposed participatory management of public secondary schools in the state.
The governor who dropped this hint in Ibadan while speaking with journalists also vowed that there will be no going back in the continued closure of the 17 schools whose students were involved in the June 6 violent protests in Ibadan.
Speaking through his Deputy, Chief Moses Alake Adeyemo, Governor Ajimobi said that the enlarged committee was meant to accommodate more suggestions and models in addition to those proposed by the state, as well as submissions in the memoranda received so far from stakeholders.
“The Education Initiative Stakeholders’ Forum held on June 7, 2016 resolved, amongst other things, to widen the scope of consultation to accommodate more suggestions and models in addition to the ones presented and discussed” he said.
The governor added that “sequel to this, proposals and memoranda have been received from members of the public on the urgent need for the participatory management of public secondary schools in Oyo state”.
“This administration has, therefore, constituted an education reform initiative committee comprising 31 members. The inauguration of the committee is scheduled for Tuesday, July 12, 2016.”
The governor stressed that members of the committee included an education expert who would function as its Chairman; two nominees each from the University of Ibadan and the National Parents/Teachers’ Association of Nigeria, two members each were from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC)/Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT); All Nigerian Congress of Principals of Public Schools (ANCOPPS); National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Market Advisory Council; Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN); and the Muslim community.
Other members of the committee according to the governor also included community leaders, private sector education practitioners/consultants, traditional rulers, relevant state commissioners, permanent secretary in the Ministry of education, as well as the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
Commenting on the ongoing strike by the state’s workers, the governor said the government resolved into setting up of a 14-member committee as a result of the intervention by concerned parties, including the State House of Assembly, aimed at ending the industrial crisis, adding that the crisis would be resolved in a matter of days.
Emphasizing that the decision of the government to reopen the schools was without prejudice to the workers’ and teachers’ strike, he noted that government decided to shut the schools to prevent the students from being used as canon folders by labour leaders in the pursuit of a different agenda, while it reopened them as a result of the appeals by well-meaning citizens of the state.
“We shut the schools to prevent our children from harm and now that the dust has settled we have reopened the schools. It is left to the members of the public to determine who is now still responsible for the continued staying of our children at home. I seize this opportunity to enlist the cooperation of all stake holders and members of the public in ensuring that the progress of this state, which our government advocates, effectively plans and pursues as programmed in our restoration, transformation and repositioning agenda, is realized.”
Governor Ajimobi vowed that all the 17 schools, whose students partook in the violent disturbances and wanton destruction of public property, would remain shut until their principals, management and students showed penitence in form of letters of apology and undertaking as the case may be.
By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan.