The Oyo State government has insisted on its “no automatic promotion” policy for schools as part of its efforts to improve the standard of education in the state.
Professor Adeniyi Olowofela, the Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, made this known in Oyo on Saturday when he inspected schools burnt and vandalised by protesting students.
Olowofela said the policy was aimed at strengthening the capacity of students so that they would be able to perform well in any external examinations and wherever they found themselves.
The policy stipulates that students will be promoted from one class to another only if they score 50 per cent in their core courses, including Mathematics and English Language.
Three of the five schools are located in Oyo East and Atiba local government areas, while the remaining two are from Akinyele in Ibadan.
The schools shut down indefinitely are Community Secondary School, Iyana Idi-Ose; Ojoo High School, Ojoo, Ibadan and Isale Oyo Community High School, Oyo.
Others are Anglican-Methodist Secondary School, Oyo and Oba Adeyemi High school, Oyo.
The protesting students allegedly vandalised infrastructure and burnt the administrative block, which school library, laboratory, classrooms and the principal’s office, at Isale Oyo Community High School in Oyo.
At the Isale Oyo Community High School, Olowofela described the destruction as massive, saying the perpetrators would not go unpunished.
“I am not sure the perpetrators are students. This is criminal, heinous and barbaric.The closure of the schools is permanent for now.
“The students will not only go unpunished but will pay to restore the infrastructure destroyed,” he said.
Mrs Florence Akande, the Principal of the school, described the attitude of the students as unruly and uncalled for.
Akande stated that the student had embarked on the heinous act, having collected their result sheets and were asked to repeat their classes.
She said that three suspects have been arrested by the police over the criminal acts, and urged the state government to ensure they did not go unpunished.
Similarly, Mrs Abegunde Adeseun, the Vice-Principal, Anglican Methodist Gramnar School, Oyo, said that the students destroyed several infrastructure in the school on account of not been promoted.
However, Mrs Oluwafadekemi Oyewo, the Principal, Oba Adeyemi High School, Oyo, said that the problem at the school on Thursday was targeted at human lives.
Oyewo stated that some of their students had earlier in the week amidst outsiders carried out a mob action on the school, stoning and threatening their teachers.
She said that the students, who came in batches and in masks have one of those hired injured and rushed to the hospital.
She said that the management of the school, some parents and a delegation had paid a visit to the injured at the hospital before he gave up the ghost on Wednesday.
Oyewo said that the incidence led to the mass violence and destruction of some infrastructure at the school on Thursday, with threats on the live of its staff.
NAN reports that the two schools in Ibadan visited on Friday also have some of their property destroyed.
The state government had introduced the policy having noted the poor performance of its students in the external examinations, especially the West African School Certificate Examination.
The performance ratio of students, who had five credits including Mathematics and English Language in the last six years was 16.97 per cent in 2011; 21.35, 2012; 21.79, 2013; 19.19, 2014; and 21.61, 2015.
The commissioner stated that the state government would not reverse the policy, despite the level of damages to the schools, urging the students to brace up for the new standard.
“We will not reverse the policy nor renege on our promise to improve the standard of education in our schools across the state.
“All we want is strict compliance with the policy to build the capacity of the students and ensure that they can perform outstandingly wherever they find themselves,” he said.(NAN)