The Oyo State government has commenced the process of allowing private organisations to partly or fully take over ownership of government primary and secondary schools.
In an announcement signed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education on Wednesday, the state requested expression of interest in the “public/private partnership and ownership of schools in its bid to develop human capital founded on quality education in the state”.
Giving further details, Mr. Ajimobi’s media adviser, Yomi Layinka, said the government was responding to the “yearnings” of missionaries, like Methodist, Anglican Ansar-ul-Deen, which previously owned some of the schools, as well as old students’ associations to participate in the running of the schools.
However, a member of Oyo State House of Assembly, Muideen Olagunju, who belongs to the opposition party, Accord, said, “the response of Mr. Layinka is tainted with insincerity. The advert says it all”.
According to the advert, applications should be accompanied by memoranda or expression of interest; evidence of previous experience in school administration; and evidence of financial and management capability to operate the school(s) successfully.
Mr. Olagunju suggested that requirements for applications by “interested stakeholders” run suitably with what can only be asked from private business organizations, possibly ones with interest in school management, but not missionaries or old students’ associations as claimed by Mr. Layinka.
Mr. Layinka added that, “The Governor has always expressed the readiness to return schools to missionaries.”
On how involving nongovernmental groups in school administration may affect cost of education, Mr. Layinka said, “it’s a process,” adding that, “there will be a consultative forum on the development on June 1”.
Students in public secondary schools currently pay N3000 per session, while those in primary schools pay N1, 050 per session.
Meanwhile, a group, Oyo Progressive Assembly, has rejected the move by the government to privatise public schools.
“We must not allow the policy to stand not as matter of political differences but to protect the poor whose access to education will become further limited by giving schools to private businesses,” the group stated in statement by its secretary, Agboola Afees.
Also commenting on the development, Seun Kolade, Chairman, Oyo Global Forum, said, “We don’t need any patronising sermons about dire economic situation in the country or about the depletion of state revenue. This is one very important public service that is non-negotiable.”
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...