Stakeholders under the aegis of Educational Initiative for Development in Western Nigeria (EIDWN), has challenged the Federal Government to harness the resources within the Old Students Associations as viable sources of funding and development of the educational system.
The charge form parts of the communique issued at the end of the 2022 Alma Mater Day Celebration, with the theme, ‘My Team’s Contract’, held in Abeokuta.
Speaking at the event, the President General , Abeokuta Grammar School Old Boys Association (AGSOBA), Sunday Oduntan, reiterated the commitment of Old Students Associations in supporting governments at various levels in the development and sustaining of quality education in the country.
Oduntan stated that government should recognize that Old Students Association’s resources were easier to harness, more reliable and shorn of stringent condition attached to other donor funds.
He, however, implored government to hold annual retreats for conference of old students and alumni associations with a view towards the collation and harmonisation of the aspirations of old students for their alma mater.
“It is believed where such retreats holds ahead of the annual budget presentation exercise, government can actually challenge the conference and secure definite figures for projects and other key intervention in the schools,” he added.
The association , however , frowned at the encroachment of school-land by land grabbers for accomodation, saying that this had further compromised the integrity of school sites as intended in the master plan.
“Land encroachment has become a major problem. People just build on school land across the country.
“In our own case, we are taking the bull by the horn, we have decided that we shall take our land back. For those who have built illegally on our land, they should better know that they need to relocate,” Oduntan warned.
In his remarks, the Managing Trustee of EIDWN, Adebowale Thompson , said the sorry state of schools nationwide is evident of government inability to adequately fund, manage and sustain the schools.
He added that funding and management through Old Students Associations would assist in rediscovering the lost glory and reposition the schools for the challenges of the future.
“Everywhere we turn, we are scandalized by the terrible state of our schools. We are too ashamed to bring our grandchildren along to see our old schools.
“There is no controversy anymore to warrant a debate of the ability or otherwise of government to fund functional, not to talk of agenda-setting, education and capacity development as in the glory days.
“We have to help ourselves through new initiatives,” he posited.