The Oyo State government has disclosed that about N5 billion will be expended to repair dilapidating structures in both primary and secondary schools in the state.
Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology Professor Adeniyi Olowofela made this disclosure at the weekend during a meeting with the state leaders and representatives of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), Association of Primary School Head Teachers of Nigeria (AOPSHON) and All Nigeria Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS).
Olowofela explained that N3b counterpart funding will be spent on primary education, while N1.9bn generated from the students’ levies and state government’s internally generated revenue will be spent on secondary schools in the state.
He noted that every step needed for the smooth take off of the rehabilitation of schools in the state had been concluded, stressing that in the next 12 months, majority of the primary and secondary schools in the state would have worn new looks.
He said that the state’s School Governing Boards (SGBs) for secondary schools in the state was yielding positive results with many old students’ associations working on the rehabilitation of structures in their schools, while some others have signified interests, adding that the collaborative efforts between the government and stakeholders in the education sector will restore its lost glory.
He assured the representatives of the unions that those issues, which include dilapidated plants, teachers’ promotions, dearth of instructional materials, agonies of retired primary school teachers, alleged certificate forgery, reversion of appointments in the school system among others raised at the parley will be adequately addressed and resolved.
He appreciated the doggedness and commitment of the unions to ensuring quality education in the state, urging that stakeholders should always put issues in proper perspective and be factual in their presentation to the general public.
Secretary of NUT, Comrade Waheed Olojede said that the union was not against local government autonomy but the management and funding of primary schools should be domiciled with the state government.
He said “There is danger in leaving the funding and management of primary school education with the local government.
“If the federal government does not want the repeat of the suffering of primary school teachers and neglect of primary education between 1990–94, the funding of primary education should not be put under the whims and caprices of local government councils.
“The government could give the responsibility of management and funding of primary education to Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC). We are not against local government autonomy but what we are against total control of funding and management of primary by the local government”, he said.