OGUN, Nigeria – Gov Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State said he has taken over 28 schools established by different communities in the state.
According to Abiodun, his predecessor, Sen. Ibikunle Amosun, had refused to absorb the schools throughout his eight years as the governor of Ogun State.
Speaking through his Special Adviser on Primary, Secondary and Vocational Education, Mrs Aderonke Soyombo, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, Abiodun said “the community schools were absorbed by him after they were rejected and left alone by the immediate past administration in the state.”
It was gathered that the State Government also absorbed 577 teachers in these schools into its civil service system.
“The number of children to be affected if the absorption wasn’t done would have risen to over 9,000.
“The schools were passed unto us. The last dispensation didn’t take it over; they didn’t absorb them. What we did was to absorb them.”
“What we looked at was the number of children that will suffer and the number of children that was going to suffer was going to be almost 9,000, because, instead of those children suffering like that, we will rather take them in and empower those schools,” she said.
Soyombo also disclosed that the state government took an audit of all schools in the state, including the absorbed 28 community schools, with the view of having a clear data of schools in the state.
She added that the absorption of the 577 teachers won’t affect the current process of recruiting 1,500 teachers into the state owned schools.
“The absorption of the 577 teachers won’t affect the current exercise of recruiting 1500 teachers, it is a separate exercise, they gave us data when we came. There was no way we could run with the data because it was not clear on the areas where we will need teachers.
“The findings from our audit is that Ogun State is very lopsided: we had too many teachers in some schools, while some schools were quite under-staffed; so, the audit helped us a lot to solve a lot of issues,” she said.
Soyombo alleged that some schools had no principal and vice principals for over two years under the last administration, while berating the situation where a teacher was teaching about 209 students in a class, saying “such would not be allowed to happen in the state under the Prince Dapo Abiodun led administration.”
“The state government has identified about 10 rural areas across the three senatorial district of the state with serious structural and teaching needs. It was discovered that areas like Imeko-Afon, Ipokia, Yewa North, Yewa South, Ijebu North and Ogun Waterside are worst affected,” she stated.
She promised that in the next few months, schools in these LGAs would have a new lease of life.