By Yusuf Adua
Stakeholders in the Education sector under the umbrellas of Association of Private School Owners of Nigeria (APSON) and the League of Muslim School Proprietors(LEAMSP) on Thursday paid a courtesy visit to the Oyo State Ministry of Education and were heartily received by the state Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology Barrister Olasunkanmi Olaleye and top government officials in the ministry.
The government functionaries led by the commissioner, accompanied by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Alhaja Aminat Atere, the Deputy Director of Schools, Mrs. A. Abiodun among others welcomed these investors in education in high spirits.
Otunba Bayo Ojo, APSON chairman Oyo state chapter, Dr. Adeleke Hilbert(APSON Secretary), and the Assistant National Secretary Rev. James Alafe were few among the powerful stakeholders who graced the occasion.
Similarly, Alhaji Ridwan Ayinde Atayese, Oyo State LEAMSP chairman led the LEAMPS entourage consisting of State General Secretary, AbdulSemiu AbdulLateef, Mr. R B Fatai, National Ex–officio, and others that were in attendance.
Receiving the stakeholders, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Alhaja Aminat Atere enjoined the educators to work in tandem with the ministry in the course of providing quality education in the state with the view that patriotic service to government is a service to humanity.
She also anticipated a cordial working relationship ranging from due registration of all schools, coming together as a formidable workforce, to the uplifting of newly established schools with the stakeholders to enhance efficiency in all private-owned schools and prevent “business of deceit” that will not be condoned by the ministry.
In his speech, the Commissioner for Education, Science, and Technology, Barr. Olasunkanmi Olaleye said the ministry will not cease to work with private school owners to maintain success in the educational life cycle of the state.
The commissioner who was positive that working with these private investors will bring about standard in the state said ” we will rate each school according to certain standard 0— 5 points, you’ll have to struggle to be and maintain the standard. It will be posted on our website alongside in front of each school ”
Reacting to the warm reception, APSON State Chairman, Otunba Bayo Ojo thanked the ministry and said his association comprising a group of professional teachers in the private sectors is thrilled to be accepted as a critical stakeholder in the educational dynamics of the state.
“We are ready at all times to support every beneficial educational policy and agenda before us”, he declared.
He did attest to the significant progress made by the Governor Seyi Makinde led administration since they came on board and their effort towards making the education sector particularly private school owners relevant amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
He described the commissioner as a brave administrator with his “training the trainers” initiative and his stout effort towards the educational development of the pacesetter state. He saw him as a force which has contributed a great quota to the development of educational history not only in the state but also Nigeria as a whole that the coming generation will see as genuine and imperishable within a reasonable short time he assumed office.
In the same vein, LEAMSP chairman, Alhaji Ridwan Atayese who portrayed that Education is a trust said his organization will begin to walk the talk as all plans are set to implement the plans and programmes engineered for the development of education in the state.
” Our organization does prepare our students in final classes before any external examination through the oversight of LEC and organize School Enlightenment programme every session. It will be kind if the ministry can send us representatives for the coming one”.
Speaking to journalists after the event, the commissioner reiterated the commitment of the state to always provide leadership in the education industry all over the country. He also singled out the importance of private schools in the dynamics of the sector saying they outnumbered government-owned schools.
He didn’t forget to state that the only challenge any government might encounter is funding which will never be adequate no matter the magnanimity of the investment but affirmed that the state government will not return to the old scores of reprising the hardship on the poor masses.
APSON Chairman who also spoke with News Live Nigeria was elated that the Oyo state government has put the right peg in the right hole with regard to technocrats in the ministry.
He, however, pleaded to the government at all levels to increase the degree of extension of the dividends of democracy to students in private schools such as the school feeding programme going on in public primary schools in and around the country.
Similarly, LEAMSP Chairman thanked the Oyo state government and emphasized that the education sector goes beyond a one-man business so they are happy that the government has decided to carry them along in their educational policies.
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