The Oyo State Government on Thursday commenced the demolition of dilapidated and abandoned school structures across the state. About 200 of such dilapidated blocks of classrooms have been marked for demolition.
The exercise which started with the demolition of two blocks of three classrooms each at the Ibadan Municipal Government (IMG) Primary School I, Mokola, Ibadan, was supervised by the state commissioner of Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Adeniyi Olowofela.
The government said that apart from the model schools under construction, it had set aside N5.6billion to construct new buildings in schools in the state, adding that it has also awarded the project for the construction of 100 school buildings with a total cost estimate of N2billion.
Prof. Olowofela who addressed reporters at the site of the demolition explained that the exercise was at no cost to the state government, because the contractors took it up as part of their corporate social responsibilities.
He said: “The government of Oyo State has decided to leave a lasting legacy in the state. And we have equally identified the need to build more structures and to renovate those ones that we can renovate but we have realized that there are some structures, especially those ones that were established in the 50’s, with mud bricks that could no longer stand the test of time because of structural problems. They abound in the state and it is the directive of the government that such structures should be pulled down.
“And I also need to reiterate that government has set aside N5.6billion to construct new buildings in schools in the state, aside from the model schools.
“Currently, the project of N2billion has been awarded for 100 schools in our various secondary schools. We have also set aside various N3.5billion for primary school structures in the state. So the whole structures that we inherited and that are no longer useful for anybody but have become the den of criminals, armed robbers and thieves, such structures are now to be pulled down and we are going to pull everything in that category within four weeks.
“So far, we have identified close to 200 blocks of classrooms of similar condition. We are not only building capacities, we are also building infrastructure. We are almost completing the model schools in Oba Akinbiyi School, Islamic High School, and Saki, including the one we inherited in Ogbomoso, and they will be completed together within the next three or four weeks.”
On the existing structures needing renovation, the commissioner said the School Governing Boards have been empowered to ensure such structures receive attention, saying “most of the other buildings will be perfected or renovated by the school governing boards across the state. We are not only building capacities, we are also building infrastructures”.