Hoodlums have destroyed property and carted away valuables belonging to public primary and secondary schools in Oyo state following the inability of the schools’ management to pay for the services of security guards and other relevant bills.
There are 324 secondary schools and 1,576 public primary schools in the state.
Governor Makinde ordered that all forms of payment in public primary and secondary schools cease with immediately effect on May 29 in his inagural speech, leaving the schools without running funds to pay their bills.
Tales of incessant attacks on schools’ property were related by top staff in the schools who pleaded for anonymity to avoid sanctions .
It was learnt that if nothing is done by the government to inject funds in the system before the resumption of schools in September, the public schools in the state may witness a very low ebb in academic activities and dearth of teachers.
Public schools in the state became target of attacks by hoodlum following the forced withdrawal of security guards.
Besides, it was gathered that most private teachers hired through the contributions of Parents Teachers Association ( PTA) in public schools were still owed salaries since June .
The night guards were said to have been relieved of their jobs shortly after Makinde announced the abolition of payment of all forms of fees and levies in all the public primary and secondary schools in the state.
When contacted the State Chairman of SUBEB , Dr. Nureni Adediran, blamed the immediate past administration for the problems in the education sector.
He however said the current administration was working round to fix the lapses in no distant time.
Though he was furious with the question on the invasion of schools by hoodlums due to dearth of funds , Adediran disclosed that the government has pledged to give running grants to public schools .
According him, the grants would have to be factored into the budget to enable the concerned agencies disburse it.
Until the order by Makinde, pupils in public schools paid N1000 per term each under the education policy of Schools’ Governing Boards ( SGBs) of the immediate past government left by Sen. Abiola Ajimobi.
The fees were domiciled in the account of the schools for smooth running of the schools across the state.
A teacher, who spoke in confidence, narrated how the principal’s office was invaded four times within a month in a secondary school at Moniya, Ibadan.
He stated that such ugly case have never happened in the history of the school when it was enjoying the services of security guards.
Also, one of the affected schools in Ido Local Government head teacher who doesn’t want her names in print said: ” We are happy and ready to cooperate with the new government but as I am speaking to you now, a lot of things have gone wrong in the schools .
“The schools were open to attacks by thieves because we could no longer afford to pay them.
“Infact, there are many occasions when the offices were invaded by thieves, carting away valuables because there are no funds to pay security guards.
“The teachers that were employed by parents’ contributions to teach core subjects in the schools could collect their salaries until the schools went on vacation .
” I can tell you that a good number of schools don’t have the needed teachers to teach core subjects but parents had to pay salaries of these teachers after hiring them through payment of one levy or the other.
“Although, the new government has promised to give grants but it will take some time because they will have to first put that in the budget that has not even come up in the first place.
“That is the predicament now in public schools with the ban on all forms of collection of fees in schools, without something that will cushion the effect on the system.”
Credit: The Nation