James Sowole in Akure
The Ondo State Government has begun census of all educational institutions within the state in order to gather data that would be used in planning policies in the sector.
The Commissioner for Education, Mr. Femi Agagu stated this in Akure, where relevant stakeholders in the sector gathered to deliberate on the exercise.
Agagu, who was supported by heads of boards and agencies in the state education sector, said the exercise which is in line with that of the federal government, would cover primary, secondary, technical and vocational and tertiary education that are public and privately owned.
He said through the census, government would be able to know how many schools are in the state, the state of infrastructure, the school enrolment, categories and other data that would assist in policy planning.
The commissioner also said data gathered from the census would be used when seeking assistance from development partners. “Without reliable data, planning will be difficult and when one cannot plan well, failure will be the result.
“Reliable data is a key instrument that development partners look for when seeking assistance. The exercise would enable the government vet entry of candidates for the senior secondary school certificate examination to avoid illegal/over-registration, to provide internal and external users of statistics with requisite educational data.”
In order to get reliable data, Agagu said the 2018 exercise would be unique because rather than waiting for information from any school, enumerators would visit schools to see what is on ground.
He explained that the state government would forward all data gathered from educational institutions to the Federal Ministry of Education for collation and analysis.
“The exercise is to provide all necessary data for monitoring the sustainable development goals and internal efficiency of our education system, to populate the state statistical system and develop information templates from the report of the exercise and to determine the authentic and reliable students’ enrolment in the state.
“It is to ascertain the quality of teaching and non-teaching staff and their number in post, to assess and collate all infrastructural facilities in schools and colleges, to compute the data bank of the ministry and also provide resource/information for the Education Management Information System.”
The commissioner added that with the census, the government would be able to update the number of existing schools and determine the number of school-age children and number of out of school pupils, as well as gender parity, among other things.