Protesters on Wednesday walked through the streets of Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, to air their grievances against alleged plans by the state government to privatise public schools in the state.
The protesters comprised members of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU, UI chapter), Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) as well as other civil rights groups. Their placards had inscriptions like: “Commercialisation of public school in Oyo state is against Oyo state Child Right Law 2006”; “Privatisation of education in the 21st century is barbaric”; “NUT opposes privatisation of secondary school education in Oyo state”.
This happened in spite of the government’s explanation on Tuesday that there was no plan to sell the schools but a proposed public private partnership policy to better position the schools.
The protesters, who accuse the government of attempting to privatise education in the state, stormed and disrupted a stakeholders’ meeting organized by the state government to deliberate on the proposed PPP policy.
The venue of the meeting was state’s House of Chief within the state secretariat. Before the arrival of Govenor Abiola Ajimobi, the rampaging protesters stormed the venue and chased out participants who were already seated.
The government had invited interested members of the public to the PPP arrangement that would cede a percentage of ownership of some of its existing secondary schools to the intending investors.
Th government said it has never contemplated selling off schools.