Victor Ogunje in Ad Ekiti
The Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has disclosed that his administration decided to return schools to missionaries and their original owners to checkmate the activities of those he described as profiteers and undisciplined elements in the system.
He added that it was part of the quests for moral and value restoration to secondary school education and rid the schools of decadent practices like internet fraud locally called ‘Yahoo’, truancy and examination malpractices.
Fayemi also dispelled the fear that the federal government-powered school feeding programme had been cancelled, saying the removal of the policy from the office of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to a newly formed Ministry of Humanitarian Services caused the seeming delay.
Fayemi stated this in Ado Ekiti yesterday at a homecoming/reunion press conference held by the 1975-80 set of Christ School in Ado Ekiti, marking the 40th anniversary since leaving the secondary school.
The governor, who doubles as the president of the set, applauded the alumni across the state for partnering the government to raise the standard of education through the provision of facilities and funding, saying the state government would create a more coordinated platform for useful engagement with them.
Fayemi said: “Education was not at the level we are now during our time, but we shouldn’t be despair as the high level of dialogue and partnership among stakeholders the state government is midwifing would lead to the restoration of the value system..
“We have no reason not to achieve qualitative education. During our time, we didn’t enjoy free education until 1979, but we paid affordable school fee. We paid N20 per term.
“Education is a right and not a privilege, and that was why I introduced free education, and now we are returning some schools to missionaries and the original owners, who are not also profiteers. They will charge fee reasonably. We are ultimately returning schools to those who can provide discipline to the system.
“We are also incorporating the alumni associations into our developmental agenda. I have received series of correspondences and communications from religious organisations like the Methodist, Nurudeen, Catholic and Anglican, that they wanted their schools back.”
Fayemi further assured the alumni that the school feeding programme would commence in Ekiti State as soon as the new federal ministry restart the implementation across all participating states.
Speaking about school enrolment in the state, Fayemi said: “In 2014, we had 96 percent enrolment, but in 2018, when I came back as governor, Ekiti State was the least in the South-west region. But today, we have raised it to over 75 percent, because of the free education initiatives of the state government.
“It has become a policy now in the state that if a child of school age is found in the streets during school hour, his parents will have a lot to answer. Apart from renovation and provisions of instructional materials, the government is doing greatly in other areas.”