The Chairman of the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) of Queen’s College, Lagos, Mr Adedamola Adewuyi, has called on the federal government to increase the budgetary allocation to unity schools in the country to enable it to continue the tradition of excellence.
Adewuyi, who has completed his three-year tenure as PTA chairman, said this at the general meeting of the association weekend, where a five-member electoral committee was set to conduct the election of new PTA executives.
Other members of the outgoing PTA executives are: Mrs. Chiedu Nwokolo, Vice-Chairperson; Mrs. Abiodun Amodu, PRO; Mrs. Meroyi, General Secretary; Mr. Abiodun Oladejo, Assistant General Secretary; Mrs. Maimuna Usman, Treasurer; and Mrs. Chinye Okolie, Financial Secretary.
The chairman bemoaned the poor state of facilities, saying that the government needs to do a lot to maintain the infrastructure, replace outdated equipment and build new structures to avoid overstretching existing ones.
He also suggested the establishment of a funding agency for unity schools, similar to the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund).
Adewuyi stated that the government had stopped employing non-teaching staff, and the responsibility is now on the PTA, which currently has 113 staff (58 teaching staff and 55 non-teaching staff) on its payroll.
According to him, the overall PTA staff salaries per month are about N5 million, which makes it about N20 million per term/quarter.
“Before our previous proposition to have an academic and developmental levy, PTA income was about N15 million termly from our N5,000 levy, with the additional N2,000 academic/development support, our basic inflow became about N21 million termly. This means only N1 million will be available for interventions throughout the term going forward except the Federal Ministry of Education sends in more teachers or recruits from our PTA teachers or staff to free up resources,” he said.
According to him, despite the paucity of funds, his administration harnessed CSR and parents’ support to execute several projects which significantly impacted the school environment and students’ performance.
Highlighting some of his achievements, the outgoing chairman said at inception in 2020, the school environment was full of rancour, impacting the overall academic performance. But his administration came in as progressives to stabilise the system. He added that the PTA executives worked well with two principals, yielding many laudable achievements.
In terms of academics, he said his team helped improve the standard of internal examinations, eradicated the merging of classes by recruiting teachers, and instituted the PTA award for outstanding students in junior and senior schools and UTME.
Also, he said the PTA introduced a complaint form and improved PTA teachers’ welfare with salaries ranging from N40,000 to N80,000.
“Increasing staff salaries was very necessary to stop the increasing wave of resignation and loss of good hands we have developed to private schools. We beseech the FME to expedite action on the conversion of old PTA teachers to FME status and also recruiting non-teaching staff,” the chairman said.
He added that the PTA provided teaching aids for some departments, provided e-learning facilities in collaboration with management, teachers and parents, and organised staff and student workshops on different topics.
According to him, his administration facilitated the adopt a chair drive among parents and vendors, which birthed 250 chairs used during external examinations. He said the PTA supported the students in many academic competitions where they won medals and laurels.
On infrastructure renewal and optimisation, Adewuyi said some of his administration’s projects included water storage and reticulation, water treatment support, stand-alone water system, toilet revamp, netting of hostels, equipping of guidance and the counselling unit, procurement of lawnmowers and professional expertise of external gardener, procurement of petrol generators for dining and prep.
Other projects are the procurement of an 18-seater Hummer 3 bus; regular fumigation of hostels and environment; procurement, installation and repair of fans; mobilisation of four interactive boards during COVID-19 to aid e-learning; improved PTA portal; maintenance of PTA procured 200KVA diesel generator; revamp of PTA office and board room, etc.
He advised the incoming chairman to be peaceful, dynamic and patient.
The college’s principal, Mrs Oyindamola Obabori, who commended the outgoing PTA executives for their support, enjoined parents to cooperate with the electoral committee to ensure a smooth transition, having the well-being of the children as the focal point.
She said on her assumption of office, she confronted and solved the perennial water problem in the college, and the college now enjoys clean, uninterrupted and uncontaminated water, free from iron content.
Despite her administration’s achievements, she said some of its challenges include inadequate staff, inadequate accommodation for staff and students, overstretched classrooms, inadequate power supply, paucity of funds, decaying facilities, inflation and exchange rates, among others.
In her remarks, the School-Based Management Committee (SBMC) chairwoman, Mrs Modupe Okebukola, stated that parents’ contribution is essential to move the school forward and ensure their children’s success because the government cannot do it alone.