Oyo releases White Paper on Education, establishes SGB for public schools

Oyo State government, at the weekend, released the White Paper on the report of a Committee on Participatory Management of Schools, just as it announced the creation of School’s Governing Board (SGB) that will provide management functions for each secondary school in the state and meet performance targets.

According to a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Toye Arulogun, the government was releasing the white paper after weeks of careful and in-depth analysis of the report.

He added that the recommendations therein would serve as the strategic framework to improve quality and performance in the state’s education sector, adding that the government adopted most of the recommendations of the committee but with variations either in nomenclature or scope.

The major highlight of the white paper included the introduction of a new model of school management called School’s Governing Board (SGB).

The state government said that the SGB model would be in two categories with membership drawn from accredited representatives of Parent-Teacher Association, Old Students’ Association, community leaders and the Head Boy/Head Girl of the school, School Principal to serve as Secretary, the Local Inspector of Education (LIE), representative of Local Government Area/LCDA and identified philanthropists as members.

It stressed that the SGB membership/leadership and scope would be determined by the government and not entitled to any form of remuneration from government.

In both categories of SGB, government will be responsible for payment of salaries of teaching and non-teaching staff, curriculum development and quality control, and each SGB will be mandated to meet once a month.

The white paper stated that functions of the SGB shall include: improving the quality of school programmes and efficiency of teachers thereby raising students’ achievement level; provision of adequate teaching and learning resources; full participation of stakeholders in effective management of schools among others.

Besides, the state government, in the white paper, also resolved to expedite action on the implementation of the Education Trust Fund recently signed into law in order to boost the revenue base of the state and to support the development of the education sector.

The government agreed with the recommendation of the committee that it should be opened to support from other sources, both local and international, for total or partial adoption of schools.

The  white paper further revealed the new categorisation of schools, lower and upper limits, in terms of students enrolment, teachers posting and other resources, saying that schools will be categorised as Urban Schools with a population of 1,000 and above, Semi-Urban Schools with between 250 – 999 students’ population and Rural Schools with a population of 60 – 249, taking into consideration the Universal Basic Education Commission standard, infrastructure, current enrolment and availability of teachers.

On the discrepancies in the data submitted by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) and the Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM), the government directed restructuring of all agencies in the sector in such a manner that will ensure effective communication and interaction between them.

While agreeing on the continued payment of N1,000 levy by each parent per student, per term, the government directed that each school’s SGB retains the levy collected for infrastructural development.

It also noted the observation of the committee that there had been gross neglect of technical and vocational education and recommended the structuring of science and technical education in the state in such a way that there would be linkage between the existing Technical Colleges, the Polytechnics and the Universities of Technology, adding that it concurred that efforts be put in place to introduce short-term in-service training for artisans at well-equipped technical and vocational colleges.

It will be recalled that Governor Abiola Ajimobi had, on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, through the Deputy Governor, Chief Moses Adeyemo, inaugurated  a 19-member committee on Participatory Management of Schools in the state, headed by the Vice-Chancellor of Ladoke Akintola University, Professor Adeniyi  Gbadegesin.