Oyo State Government has stated that it has perfected plans to reintroduce boarding system to public schools, adding that 64,000 units of furniture would soon be distributed to all public schools in the state.
The Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Kehinde Sangodoyin disclosed this at the weekend during the launching and dedication of projects done by the Old Students of Ibadan City Academy, Ibadan.
He noted that the state would leave no stone unturned in its bid to provide qualitative education for pupils without placing any financial burden on parents and guardians.
The Commissioner disclosed that the state has returned 43% of its out-of-school children back to class, adding that work is ongoing towards “mopping the rest of the population outside the classroom back before the end of the year.”
His words: “Parts of the state education policy is to improve access and participation of our students in academic activities at all levels, be it primary or secondary and since the governor has removed levies hitherto paid by our students and has just approved the payment of running cost to our primary and secondary schools. Also we are equally working on providing furniture to schools. Sixty-four thousand units will soon be distributed to all schools across the state.
“On the out-of-school children, I can assure you that we have 43% of the students back in the classrooms now and we are working to get them all back. We have a plan towards sensitizing the parents and facilitating procedures of mopping the rest of the number back to school from the streets. We are going to work with SUBEB and UBEC to actualise this goal.
“We are engaging all stakeholders, volunteers, traditional council, leaders of thought and the media to counsel the children wherever they may be found so that they will see the beauty of being back to school for the good of their own future.
“Plans are underway to provide them with uniforms, we have free textbooks and notebooks and we are supplying them with feeding to retain their interest after getting them back totally. We all know that poverty contributed to the cause of their being outside the school and these items are the major needs that will make them come to school and stay.
“Engr. Seyi Makinde has proved himself and his administration that he does not bluff. He talks and backs his talk with actions and this has been exhibited in his stride in education, security, health and workers welfare among other things.”
Sangodoyin enjoined school administrators to cooperate with administration in the area of policy actualisation, warning them not to collect money from students for the free textbooks and notebooks provided by government.
The President General of Ibadan City Academy Old Students’ Association (ICAOSA), Chief Richard Titiloye commended the state government for the attention given to education, adding that corporate bodies and school alumni should do more to support government.
Titiloye listed the achievements of the school alumni to include renovation of Physics, Chemistry, Biology laboratories, the school library and staff rooms.
He said the body earlier renovated 15 classrooms in the school, dug a borehole, employed six teachers, five security personnel, organised training for teachers in the school and gave scholarships to brilliant but indigent students.
“Today we are marching on with our vision to bring back the lost glory of Ibadan City Academy. I know it is not an easy task, inevitably, we will require the full cooperation of the state government to achieve our goals. Our efforts so far as old students are visible and quantifiable. Despite the challenging economic times, we believe our continued investment in the development of students and teachers of the school will move our school to greater academic height in no distant future,” he said.