Oyo State government has set up a thirty-one member Education Reform Initiative Committee to widen its scope of consultations on the proposed participatory management of public secondary schools in the state.
The Deputy Governor of the state, Chief Moses Alake Adeyemo, who stood in for the Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, disclosed this at a press briefing, in Ibadan, on Monday.
The governor said that the enlarged 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.
He said, “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.”
Listed as members of the committee were an education expert who, the deputy governor said, would function as its chairman; two nominees each from the University of Ibadan and the National Parents/Teachers’ Association of Nigeria.
Adeyemo said that two members each were also being expected from the 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.
According to him, membership of the committee also included community leaders, private sector education practitioners/consultants, traditional rulers, relevant state commissioners, permanent secretary in the ministry of education, as well as the Nigeria Union of Journalists.
On the ongoing industrial action by the state’s workforce, the deputy governor disclosed that the government decided to set up a 14-member committee sequel to intervention by concerned parties, including the State House of Assembly, aimed at ending the logjam.
He was optimistic that the impasse would be resolved in a matter of days, while noting that the decision of the government to reopen the schools was without prejudice to the workers’ and teachers’ strike.
Adeyemo said that the government 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.
“I seize this opportunity to enlist the cooperation of all stakeholders and members of the public in ensuring that the progress of this state, which our government advocates, effectively plans and pursues as programmed in our restoration, transformation and repositioning agenda, is realized.”
He maintained that the 17 schools, whose students partook in the violent disturbances and wanton destruction of public property, would remain shut until their principals, management and students showed penitence in form of letters of apology and undertaking as the case may be.