Inconsistent policies taking toll on first choice schools, group laments
The Seminary Saint Anne’s Old Girls Association (SSASOGA) has decried the incessant policy somersault in the education sector, saying this has taken a toll on first choice and prime schools, which hitherto produced pacesetters in the socio-economic and political sectors of the country.
SSASOGA, comprising Old Girls from CMS Girls School, Kudeti Girls’ School and Saint Anne’s School, expressed concerns during its annual general meeting in Ibadan, Oyo State capital.
The first National President of SSASOGA, Similolaoluwa Onabanjo, said the Anglican Mission is hesitant to take over schools because of the inconsistency in the nation’s educational policies.
Onabanjo said: “There is inconsistency in the education policy. One administration would come and say schools have been taken over, another would say we returned the schools to the mission only for the schools to be taken over again. By the time schools are returned (to the mission), because government did not adhere to full protocols before admission – it is now so unwitting and too much for the missionaries to handle.
“When I was in school, our total population was 300. As we speak, the students are more than 4,000 and we are short of classrooms. Students were just posted without the required infrastructure. We were first choice school. There was entrance examination. Now, you can’t even ask students to repeat classes. It is now an all-comers’ affair and the demands are daunting.
“We wish to return to the good old standard as first choice school but we cannot have that with the very high and uncontrolled population in the school. Some of the students that were sent to the school could not meet up, so they reduced the standard.”
Onabanjo stressed that while the group is desirous of restoring standard, it is difficult in a school with 4,000 students capacity.
She said: “We know that government cannot do it alone. The more we do to improve infrastructure in the school, the more students that are pushed in and that cannot help. There is so much pressure on infrastructure. What was meant for 300 students is now being used to cater for 4,000 students.”
While reminding that government cannot fund education alone without the support of stakeholders, she said; “I dare say whatever is free cannot be too good. The demand for education is far above government’s budget. We have to complement government’s efforts but the situation is too much for us.
“The current administration in Oyo State has increased budgetary allocation for education but the population of students is increasing.”