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Be firm, principled on education policy, group tells OYSG

THE Oyo State government has been asked to maintain its standard on education and follow the guidelines of its policy in order to raise the bar and arrest further decline in the education sector to prepare a solid foundation for the future of the young ones.

A socio-cultural group, Oyo Development Initiative (ODI), made this call at the weekend while commenting on the White Paper on Education recently released by the state government.

The group in a statement by its Coordinator, Dr Adesola Okanlawon, said the era of patching, managing and window dressing the education sector should be a thing of the past and that the government should fully implement the contents of the white paper.

Okanlawon added that the decision of the government to affirm the no automatic promotion in public schools should be supported by all and sundry, saying that mass failure in external examinations has given the state a bad image and also have negative effects on the teachers, students and their parents.

“We observed that there are two schools of thoughts on the automatic promotion issue. While some set wanted the government to reduce the cut-off, the other set supported the government stand that the cut-off mark should be 50 per cent. We believe that individuals are free to express their opinions. However, the state of our education does not support that the cut off mark should be reduced. We should rather join hands with the state government to ensure that the policy is fully implemented.

“The statistics on mass failure in our schools as released by the state government is saddening. How would one explain that over fifty thousand students failed to get five (5) credits (including English and Mathematics) each year from 1999 to 2015? It is pathetic that 61,232 sat for the exam in 2008 and 5,608 passed, in 2009, 60,444 sat for the exam, 7,204 passed. Year 2010, 65,330 sat for the exam, 8,757 passed, in  2011, 72,559 sat for the exam and 12,314 passed while in 2012, there were 75, 179 candidates and 12,314 passed. These results are woeful and should not be from a state with the appellation ‘Pace Setter’.

“These abysmal failure patterns must stop and we urge the state government, teachers, parents and individuals to do their bit in restoring the lost glory of the education sector in the state. We all should work together to ensure that the decline in the sector is reversed,” the group stressed.

ODI further appealed to the state government to ensure that the School Governing Board as encapsulated in the White Paper be set up without further delay, stating that this would further aid  government policies in education and it would be very easy for the stakeholders in the industry to key into the government plans.

“The SGB model as explained by the state government will solve so many problems in our public schools. However, the government should eliminate any bottleneck as well as unnecessary bureaucracy that could hamper the implementation and activities of the SGB,” the group emphasised.