PRESS RELEASE ON THE STATE OF EDUCATIONAL ISSUES IN OYO STATE.
On the 9th June, 2017, the Commissioner for Education Science and Technology, Prof. Joseph Adeniyi Olowofela; Special Adviser on Communication and Strategy; Mr. Yomi Layinka, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Mrs. Aderonke Makanjuola; Senior Special Assistant on Print and Broadcast, Mr. Wale Sadiq; Senior Special Assistant on Print Media, Mr. Akin Oyedele, held a Press Conference at the Press Center of the Governor of Oyo State, Ibadan, to discuss the state of education in the State.
Speaking to members of the presss, Olowofela addressed the issue of the Oyo State Home Grown Feeding Programme, tagged (AJUMOJE).
In his remarks, he explained that the program was a Federal Government Initiative meant to give one nutritious meal to primary school 1,2,3 school pupils daily.
This is to amongst other benefits, reduce the spate of hunger in primary schools across the country, to enhance school enrollment and to create a value chain of employment opportunities.
They were informed that the money for the items supplied by the farmers will be deducted from each vendor’s menu per pupil, to be paid directly by the Federal Government, into the aggregator’s account, same with the payment of the Vendors. The vendors were thereafter asked to sign an undertaken to ensure compliance to the rules and regulations of the feeding program.
He further explained that series of monitoring embarked upon after the commencement of the program, revealed that some vendors were not feeding pupils with the required quality and quantity of the desired protein items.
The state government after series of meeting with the farmers and aggregators where competitive prices and logistics were fixed and agreed upon, entered into an Memorandum of Understanding , and engaged three aggregators for the supply of the food items, on the 10th of May, 2017.
Other events leading to the commencement of the program statewide were sorted out, and payment modalities from the Federal Government will reflect these solutions.
Answering questions from members of the press regarding the statement reportedly made by the legal luminary, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), Olowofela stated that the statement lacked merit, because the state government has been at the forefront of Educational improvement since it came into power.
On the issue of Lautech, he explained that a visiting panel had been constituted; this panel is led by Chief Wole Olanipekun(SAN), and was tasked with looking into the immediate and remote causes of the Lautech situation, audit, and come up with lasting solutions that will be implemented and acceptable across board, to ensure that that institution is properly funded, in the near, middle and long terms.
To this end, he further explained that an audit of the school is currently ongoing, and Lautech issue will be finally and conclusively laid to rest, once completed.
The state government has had to re-strategize, and find lasting solutions which led to the creation of the Education Trust Fund, which is currently being put in place to provide appropriate funds for our higher institutions.
Speaking further on the Lautech issue, Mr Yomi Layinka expressed disappointment at the comments of the revered legal luminary, explaining that, one would expect that a man of his caliber would desist from making unfounded comments and coming to hasty conclusions.
He went on to say that the governor never made some of the statements credited to him by the legal luminary.
He also highlighted some initiatives the government has embarked on in the educational sector in the 6 years since it came on board, many of which have led to the improvements in WAEC results, from 35th to 26th, and the NECO exams, in which the state now occupies an enviable 2nd position, after the government abolished the mass promotion scenario that hitherto held sway.
He stressed that various performance metrics and data support the claim that the quality of education in Oyo state has improved in the last 6 years, and it would be malicious for anyone to suggest otherwise, and if they took their time to look through said metrics, it would be obvious from the jump.
The State Government officials further stressed that the governor will continue to do everything in his power to improve the quality of education in the state, as he is of the opinion that quality education is the bedrock of whatever improvements anyone can plan or execute in any society.