Oyo State government says no fewer that 34% of the out-of-school children population are back to class while efforts are being intensified to ensure that the remaining are also brought back before the end of the year.
The Commissioner of Education, Science and Technology in the State, Professor Kehinde Sangodoyin, made this known at the weekend during the launching and dedication of projects embarked upon by the old students of the Ibadan City Academy.
Sangodoyin said the State would leave no stone unturned in its move to provide qualitative education without financial burden on parents and guardians.
Re-introducing Boarding System
He said that arrangements are in top gear to reintroduce boarding system to public schools.
He said, “Part 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 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.”
The Commissioner stated that 64,000 units of furniture would soon be distributed to all public schools in the State, saying the measure would help improve the standard of education.
Sangodoyin said that teachers on level sixteen to seventeen would assume the title of ‘tutor generals’ while government would start paying running cost for the upkeep of public schools from Monday.
Concerning the out-of-school children, he explained that the government was working with the State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB and the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, towards sensitising parents and facilitating the procedure of mopping the rest of the number back to school from the street.
“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 at school for the good of their own future.
“Plans are underway to provide them with uniform, 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,” Sangodoyin said.
The Commissioner enjoined school administrators to cooperate with government 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 the Ibadan City Academy Old Students’ Association, Chief Richard Titiloye, commended the State government for the attention given to quality education, adding that corporate bodies and school alumni should do more to support government.