Stakeholders score Abiodun high on Ogun education

Stakeholders in Ogun on Saturday praised the state governor, Dapo Abiodun, for his achievements in the education sector since his re-election in May 2023.
Ogun State governor Dapo Abiodun

Ogun State governor Dapo Abiodun

Stakeholders in Ogun on Saturday praised the state governor, Dapo Abiodun, for his achievements in the education sector since his re-election in May 2023.
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The stakeholders, in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abeokuta, identified the achievements and challenges faced in the sector, expressing their expectations from the government.

The state Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Abayomi Arigbabu, said the government had improved the access to and quality of education as well as fostered a culture of innovation.

Arigbabu explained that within one year, the government had successfully digitalised the entire education system and provided basic infrastructure in schools.

He said the state government’s policy on free education continued after Abiodun’s re-election, adding that it paved the way for more enrollment in schools.

The commissioner explained that the improved enrollment had made the state government embark on the construction and rehabilitation of more structures in schools.

“In the last year, we have started another round of rehabilitation, targeting about 1,000 projects.

“When talking about the projects, we are talking about the provision of facilities, buildings, chairs, tables, toilets and laboratories, among others,” he said.

He identified the introduction of the Learners’ Identification Numbers (LIN) in both public primary and secondary schools as another remarkable achievement of the government in the last year.

“In the last year, we have centralised the issuance of LIN to pupils and students. We want to ensure integrity in the data we are collecting.

“We have used technology to improve the integrity of examination in Ogun State; no learner can write the examination in the state unless the learner is known to the Ogun government.
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“So, we have set it that all students in Ogun must have LIN, even from their primary school level and it is this LIN that they will use all through, even if they are transferred from one school to another,” he said.

The commissioner disclosed that the state government had successfully appointed 141 new principals and 130 vice-principals across public secondary schools in the last year.

He added that the governor also approved the payment of N50,000 each for all students of Ogun origin in both public and private universities across the nation.

On employment creation, Arigbabu said the state had, in the last year, engaged an additional 2,000 OgunTEACh interns, increasing the number of interns engaged to 4,000 out of the expected 5,000.

“The governor directed that 1,000 of the interns that have served more than two years and have been evaluated and found worthy be absorbed into mainstream civil service,” he said.

The commissioner identified paucity of funds and insecurity as major challenges encountered in the education sector in the last year.
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“We have challenges of insecurity, which is not peculiar to Ogun, but it is also a challenge.

“There were occasions when hoodlums stormed schools, removed burglaries and stole iron tables and chairs, among other property.

“We are, however, gradually overcoming such situations with the assistance of security agencies,” he said.

Similarly, the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) in the state also applauded the government’s performance in the last one year, particularly for introducing the LIN across schools.

NUT Secretary in Ogun, Mr Samson Oyelere, said the state government had done well by digitalising education.

According to Oyelere, all students in the state primary and secondary schools now have LIN, which makes admission, identification and data generation easy.

“The government also cushioned the effects of the economic downturn by the payment of N10,000 palliatives to teachers for the past nine months and one-off for students.

“They have done well but that does not mean there are no challenges that are being looked into,” he said.

Setting an agenda for the government for the next year, Oyelere said teachers were expecting the 27.5 per cent teachers’ peculiar allowance as against the 15 per cent currently being paid.

“Equally, we are expecting prompt promotion of teachers for 2023 and 2024 and also expecting the appointment of more teachers in our schools.

“Most importantly, Ogun teachers are expecting the fulfilment of the education summit promised by the state government,” he said.
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Meanwhile, the National President, National Association of Ogun State Students (NAOSS), Kehinde Thomas, pledged the students’ support to the state government.

Corroborating Oyelere’s views on the achievements in the sector, Thomas, however, expressed concern that the government was not doing enough to involve students in policies and programmes meant to affect them.

He, therefore, called on the state government to always get them involved in the formulation of policies for successful implementation.

“We seek for provision of mobility for the students’ constituency, which is long overdue.

“There is a need for increment of subvention for our tertiary institutions to further empower the education sector toward meaningful educational growth and development.

“We seek the provision of employment slots for worthy past student leaders to serve as encouragement for young leaders across the state,” he said.
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