The Oyo State Government revealed on Tuesday that it has engaged 5,652 people in its school infrastructural renewal.
The State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Adeniyi Olowofela, disclosed this at a three-day expanded stakeholders meeting on Implementation of 2018 State Engagement Plan (SEP) organized by the ministry in collaboration with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The commissioner, speaking at the event held at the Emmanuel Alayande Resource Centre, Samonda, Ibadan, explained that the people were engaged through the School Governing Boards (SGBs) which have arrested the infrastructural decay in the 6 secondary schools across state.
According to him, the SGB, which is a participatory schools’ management model, the first of its kind in the country introduced by Governor Abiola Ajimobi two years ago, is executing one infrastructural programme or the other in various schools.
He also disclosed that over N2 billion has been expended by the boards, philanthropists and old students associations on new buildings, renovation of the old ones, laboratories, ICT centres, chairs, desks and boreholes, among others.
He said that out of the N2 billion, the SGBs have spent N1.269 billion realized from the N3,000 session fee paid by each student while projects embarked upon by old students, philanthropists and corporate organizations stood at about N0.8billion.
An SGB is made up of nine members who are on voluntary services except the statutory members that are civil servants which include the Principals, who are the secretaries of the boards, nominees of council chairmen and Local Inspector Education (L.I.Es) where the schools are domiciled. Pls school associations, Parent-Teacher Association, students and host communities also have a representative each on the board.
The Commissioner said that the introduction of the SGB was a masterstroke to change the fortune of education in Oyo Sate.
He said: “The SGB has led to renewed rivalry among various old students associations as they are all trying to outdo one another in providing infrastructure for their schools. During the launch of Education Trust Fund (ETF) in November 2017, the SGB of Government College, Ibadan was honoured as the best SGB and this has in no doubt propelled other SGBs to act.
“Recently, the SGB of Lagelu Grammar School also injected about N250m into the renovation of schools. There are so many SGBs working on renovations of their schools and this is evident in the present state on improved infrastructures as the government also observed that some of the buildings earlier earmarked for rehabilitation have already been renovated by SGBs or Old students.
“Our SGB intervention for schools is a success story and we need to commend various old students association for being part of this laudable achievement to renovate existing buildings, construct new ones, laboratories, ICT centres as well as provision of laboratories equipment, chairs, desks and boreholes,” Professor Olowofela said.
Prof. Olowofela appreciated the Governor Abiola Ajimobi administration for his transformational initiative in the states’ education sector and commended the collaborators, stressing that the benefits of UNICEF and State Planning Commission’s conduct of Annual School Census and others cannot be over emphasised.
In his speech, the UNICEF Education Specialist, Mr. Muritala Muhammed, stated that the essence of the training was to develop a better understanding of the use of SEP as a tool for education planning for basic and secondary schools, to update knowledge on the developed SEP and proffer best solutions for maximum outcome in education service delivery in the State among others.