Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State is insisting on the tendering of apology by the management of 17 public schools in the state before they can be re-opened.
Ajimobi who spoke through his deputy, Chief Moses Alake Adeyemo, remained adamant over the re-opening of the schools, saying that the management and students of the affected schools must show penitence in form of letters of apology and undertaking, as the case may be.
The governor said that he decided to shut the schools to prevent the students from being used as canon folders by labour leaders in the pursuit of a different agenda, while it reopened them in deference to appeals by well-meaning citizens of the state.
He said, “We shut the schools to prevent our children from harm and now that the dust has settled we have reopened the schools. It is left to the members of the public to determine who is now still responsible for the continued staying of our children at home.”
Ajimobi said government has decided to set up a 14-member committee saddled with the responsibility of resolving the crisis, adding that the public schools were shut in the best interest of the state.
The governor also set up a thirty-one member Education Reform Initiative Committee to widen the scope of consultations on the proposed participatory management of public secondary schools in the state.
He said that the committee was meant to accommodate more suggestions and models in addition to those proposed by the state, as well as submissions in the memoranda received so far from the stakeholders.
His words, “The Education Initiative Stakeholders’ Forum held on June 7, 2016 resolved, amongst other things, to widen the scope of consultation to accommodate more suggestions and models in addition to the ones presented and discussed. Sequel to this, proposals and memoranda have been received from members of the public on the urgent need for the participatory management of public secondary schools in Oyo State. This administration has, therefore, constituted an education reform initiative committee comprising 31 members. The inauguration of the committee is scheduled for Tuesday, July 12, 2016”.
Among the committee’s members were education experts, two nominees each from the University of Ibadan, UI, the National Parents/Teachers’ Association of Nigeria, Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, All Nigerian Congress of Principals of Public Schools, ANCOPPS, National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, Market Advisory Council, Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, and the Muslim community.
Other members of the committee include community leaders, private sector education practitioners/consultants, traditional rulers, relevant state commissioners, permanent secretary in the ministry of education and media practitioners.