….sets up Education Trust Fund
Worried by the recent kidnapping of students in schools by bandits in some parts of the country, the Ogun State government said it has beefed up security in all its schools across the State
The State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun disclosed this when he received members of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Basic Education, led by its Chairman, Prof Julius Ihonvbere, when they paid him a courtesy visit in his office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
Governor Abiodun said as a responsible administration, “I have approved employment of security men in all our schools. We do not want to be reactive on the issue of security in our schools. We want to ensure that not only our children are safe, but their teachers also”.
The governor also said about 600 schools would be rehabilitated across the State as part of efforts to provide conducive environment for teaching and learning before the end of his first term in office.
Governor Abiodun described the condition in which children learn as ‘deplorable’, saying though his administration has invested so much on infrastructure in the education sector, much are needed to be done to achieve the desired result.
“In spite of the much we have done, each time I see some news items on the television or newspaper about one school whose roof is about to fall, I say to myself ‘when will we cover all these schools?’ And we have rehabilitated so many schools. Having a conducive environment for our children to learn remains our priority. Our target is that by the end of our first four years in office, we would have done about 600 schools by giving them a facelift.
“We are also in the process of awarding contract for the construction of 60,000 furniture so that our children can sit comfortably while learning”, he explained.
Prince Abiodun disclosed that an Education Trust Fund, where certain percentage of fund would be dedicated to, have been created, to have a pool of fund to deploy to the sector.
He said basic education would continue to receive priority, as it was the foundation where other levels of education is building upon, informing his guests that a Committee has been put in place to monitor and evaluate projects been executed with grants from the UBE.
Speaking earlier, Chairman of the House Committee on Basic Education, Prof. Ihonvbere, lauded the State for paying it 2018, 2019 and 2020 counterpart fund, noting that the State still has about N2.7bn to access from UBEC.
Prof. Ihonvbere while saying that the federal government as so far spent about N375 billion on basic education in the last 10 years, maintained that the Committee was in the State as part of its oversight function to see what the State has been able to do with UBEC grants, identify best practices as well as lessons it could take to other states.
While saying that basic education was going through some turbulent times in some parts of the country as a result of activities of bandits and kidnappers, the Chairman commended the State for emphasising on quality, functional and technology driven education, calling on the government to construct perimeter fence, provide water and continue in rehabilitating dilapidated schools in the State.