The Oyo State Government has denied reports that it is planning to privatise public schools in the state.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Communication and Strategy, Yomi Layinka explained on Tuesday that the initiative is to go into Public Private Partnership and return some public schools back to its original owners.
Addressing newsmen at the Press Centre, Ibadan, the Special Adviser said the initiative was a response to calls for return of the schools to missionaries and communities.
Layinka however pointed out that not all schools will be ceded in the process, saying that only about 30 out of the 631 schools will be affected.
“The issue of return of schools has been a recurring issue since 1975 when schools were taking over by government from missionaries and private individuals for best reasons known to them. Governor Ajimobi administration has deemed fit to respond positively to their request and has started the process of returning the schools as far as it is for public interest especially for proper management and sustenance of such schools.
“It will create energy and resources to manage the schools properly. It is a concept of PPP which is operated globally. We have advertised for an expression of interest from stakeholders interested to pick up the form. There will be clearly stated agreement to be meet before an MOU will be signed”
He gave the following as criteria used in selecting the 30 schools to be ceded:
” Spread of government secondary schools in the area, total population of students in the area, evidence of previous experience in school administration, evidence of means of financial and management capability to operate the school successfully on their return”
Speaking further, he said:
No student in any of the affected schools, that is from JSS II to SS III will be liable to payment of school fees. Existing primary schools in th premises of some of the secondary schools affected will not be interfered with at this stage.”
He assured that the process will not lead to retrenchment of teachers. He however added tha the teachers have two options – to remain with the new school owners or stay as government’s employees.
He also said government will ensure that stakeholders comply with open administration policy, adherence to government policy in state, regular inspections to ensure quality assurance.