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….Says it invested over N 1.032 billion last year in the 22 public secondary schools in Ado LGA.

R – Education Commissioner, Dr Bimpe Aderiye and The Commissioner for Information Rt Hon. Taiwo Olatunbosun at the stakeholders forum

Ekiti State Government said it has in the last one year disbursed over N 1.032 billion to the 22 public secondary schools in Ado Local Government Area
for the upgrading of infrastructure and running of the Schools

The Commissioner for Education, Dr (Mrs) Adebimpe Aderiye who made this known in Ado-Ekiti during an Education Stakeholders’ Consultative Forum organized by her Ministry for Stakeholders drawn from Ado Local Government Area, explained that the funds disbursed to the 22 Public Secondary Schools in the State Capital include Schools improvement grants from the State Government under the Work Bank Assisted Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE) Programme, monthly Running Grants from her Ministry while some of the schools also received intervention from the State Universal Basic Education Board.

She said the gesture which was also extended to the entire 202 public secondary schools in the state is for construction and renovation of school buildings, examination halls , construction of perimeter fence, water and sanitation facilities, provision of solar power systems and procurement of essential digital devices including laptops, smart boards, printers, photocopiers as well as training programmes for teachers and students.

She said apart from these, Government also expended over N300 million for the payment of WAEC fees for SS3 students in the 202 public secondary schools in the state .

Aderiye explained that the Consultative forum was organized for the 22 Public Secondary Schools in Ado Local Government Area to take stock of how the funds given to School Administrators and School Based Management Committees (SBMC) by the State Government had been utilized as well as to critically engage stakeholders in the sector by identifying challenges in terms of teaching and learning, reminding them of their expected roles and responsibilities and how to move the education system forward.

The Commissioner who expressed concern over the performance of students in the last West African Examination Council (WAEC) despite government’s efforts in providing adequate facilities and payment of WAEC fees, emphasized the need for joint efforts to enhance learning outcomes in Schools

Aderiye while interacting with the Public Secondary Schools Principals and School Based Management Committee (SBMC) Chairmen, as they gave the account of the present level of the projects encouraged all stakeholders to protect and maintain the structures and facilities provided by the government amongst others.

Cross section of Parents, Teachers and Students at the forum

While responding to some of the reasons adduced for poor performance in schools such as absenteeism , students combining apprenticeship training with formal education due to poverty, hawking after school hours,
negative effects of use of android devices by students during school hours and other forms of indiscipline, lack of learning materials by students and poor parental care amongst others, she called on the stakeholders to share measures to address the challenges.

In his goodwill message, the State Commissioner for Information, Rt.Hon.Taiwo Olatunbosun noted that the provision of quality education requires the conscious involvement of all stakeholders as every citizen has a responsibility and duty towards achieving the set goals in the educational sector .

He said the forum is in tandem with the present administration’s policy of transparency and accountability and generating feedback from the stakeholders and the governed as the present administration believes in partnership and constructive engagement with concerned stakeholders involved in all sectors in order to ensure the successful implementation of its programmes.

Applauding the present administration’s giant strides in the education sector which includes
massive renovation and upgrading of school infrastructure, provision of computers, interactive boards, recruitment of teachers, he noted that the present administration is fully committed in achieving and implementing the six point agenda.

Also speaking, the SUBEB Chairman, Prof Femi Akinwunmi commended the commitment of the State Government, on the implementation of the policy of free and compulsory education up to Senior Secondary School level and the prompt payment of counterpart funds that enabled SUBEB to renovate dilapidated infrastructures, provide perimeter fencing and WASH facilities in the public secondary schools across the State.

The SUBEB Boss advised students to focus on their studies for a successful academic journey.

In her address, the DG Community Mobilization, Mrs Mary-Oso Omotoso, pledged to collaborate with artisans in the state to explore ways of managing the pursuit of vocational training among students alongside their formal education, emphasizing the need to address this multifaceted engagement within the context of community participation in education service delivery.

Earlier in her welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Dr Folakemi Olomojobi emphasized that the goal of the present administration is to provide quality education that is relevant, functional, and well-structured.

Dr Olomojobi noted that the establishment of a decentralized education system is attributed to the significant measures and emphasis put in place by Mr. Governor, adding that the focus on decentralization was a desire to enhance the overall effectiveness of the education system under the Governor’s leadership.

In her remarks, the AGILE Project Coordinator , Mrs Yewande Adesua, enlightened the gathering about the various government’s financial intervention for the girl-child as well as indigent students and a second chance education for students who have dropped out of school due to violence or unwanted pregnancy.

In their separate remarks, Parents, pupils and Alumni of some of the public secondary schools restated their roles in ensuring an improvement in education sector, which included reduced chores at home so as to encourage more studying time, monitoring of students while studying at home, reduction of hours students spend on smartphones, devoting more time for studying, use of the school library to avoid distractions, amongst others.

Present at the event were: the House Committee Chairman on Education, Hon. Jacob Awoniyi; the Commissioner for Youth Development, Mr Adedayo Gold; Special Adviser on Tertiary Education, Mr Akeem Azeez; Permanent Secretary SUBEB, Mr Afolabi Adebiyi; Permanent Secretary Teaching Service Commission, Mr Mike Omolayo and other top government functionaries.

Recommendations made at the gathering include: that.under no condition must students be sent out of school or punished for non payment of levies ; that punishments given to students should be proportionate to their age; that parents are to monitor the academic performance of their wards; that failure of students to meet 80 percent attendance in classes would result in automatic repetition of the class,maintenance of hygienic environment by the students in their classrooms and that should be an enhanced collaboration between communities and government in the education sector

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