The Governor of Oyo State, Engineer Seyi Makinde, said on Monday that his administration was determined to fix the education sector in the state.
The Governor, who spoke at the kick-off of the free distribution of customised textbooks and exercise books to students in Oyo State, held at the Bishop Philip Academy, Ibadan, added that his administration would take education to a greater heights.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the Governor as saying that his administration would bring back the glory of free education in the state.
The Governor also stated that his vision of the education sector in the first year of his administration is to move the state from the present 26th position in WAEC examinations to at least16th position among 36 states.
He asked all the stakeholders to join hands with the Government in its bid to reposition the education sector in the State.
He stated: “We are determined to fix the education sector because I know for a fact that I am in this position that God has destined me to be because of the education that I received here.
“My time here laid the foundation for my future, so it is the same for the students here today, and I pray that all of you will get to your destination and you will fulfil your potential.”
The Governor noted that education remained crucial to the success of his administration, charging the students to take their education seriously.
“Our students here, you should know that I was once like you. I spent five years here and wore the same uniform that you have on today, if I can go on to become the Governor of Oyo State, I make bold to say that you have among you future president of Nigeria.
“Let me reiterate that we are all working together for a greater Oyo State and education will play a crucial role in helping our administration achieve its goal,” Governor Makinde said.
He added: “At our executive retreat recently, I made it clear that our vision for Oyo State included ensuring that the learners in Oyo State get value for their time in the classroom; this is the only way we can get many children into the classroom. All the stakeholders gathered here today have a role to play in making this vision a reality.
“From the Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology to Directors of the State Ministry of Education, Zonal and Local Inspectors of Education, School Administrators, Principals of Public secondary Schools, the Staff of the School, students and also our parents, we must all look together in one direction and that is the only way we can be sure that these children’s future is secured and by extension our own future as well.”
Governor Makinde stated that as part of his Government’s drive to reposition the education sector, 40 schools had been renovated across the state while 60 others were undergoing renovation.
“I am happy that the students in 40 state-owned schools across the state will be resuming into renovated structures, as renovations are also ongoing in 60 other schools. These are part of the first tranche of 100 renovated schools across the State.
“We are doing all we can to ensure that our children have physical and mental resources to enjoy their time in school as they acquire knowledge for a better tomorrow. What we are giving today, the textbooks and notebooks are just a drop in the ocean of needs but we also know that it is the tiny drops like this that create a huge ocean.
“The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology must put an accountability system
place vis-a-viz the distribution of these materials, it will be against the principle of our administration for any principal or teacher to make any of learner pay for these materials. I didn’t pay for them when I was in Secondary school here,” the Governor said.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Education in the state, Professor Dahud Sangodoyin, maintained that the provision of textbooks in subjects being offered at Junior and Senior Secondary Schools would go a long way to ensure quality education by easing the burden of academic activities on students, teachers and parents.
He added that the administration of Governor Makinde valued education and has “decided to be at the forefront of improving quality education and aspiring to build a developed Oyo State through proper planning and adequate funding for educational activities.”
The Commissioner stated that there would be more policies targeted at helping the school system adding that the Governor “is solidly interested in the development of education.”