Suspected robbers have destroyed property and carted away valuables belonging to public primary and secondary schools in Oyo State, following the inability of the schools’ management to pay for the services of security guards.
There are 324 secondary schools and 1,576 public primary schools in the state.
Governor Seyi Makinde, had, while deliverying his inaugural speech on May 29, directed that all forms of payment in public primary and secondary schools ceased with immediate effect.
This left the schools without running funds to pay their bills.
Tales of incessant attacks on schools’ properties were narrated by senior officials in the affected schools, who pleaded anonymity.
It was learnt that if nothing is done by the government to inject funds into the school system before pupils’ resumption in September, the public schools may witness very low academic activities.
It was gathered that the public schools became the target of attacks by hoodlum following the forced withdrawal of security guards.
Besides, it was gathered that most private teachers hired through the contributions of Parents Teachers Association (PTA) were still owed salaries since June.
The night guards were said to have been relieved of their jobs after Makinde announced the abolition of payment of the fees.
When contacted, the Chairman of State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Dr. Nureni Adediran, blamed the immediate past administration for the problems in the education sector.
He said the Makinde administration, having inherited the problems, “is working to fix them”.
Although he was furious with the question on the invasion of schools by suppected robbers, Adediran said the government has pledged to give running grants to public schools.
According to the SUBEB Chairman, the grants would have to be factored into the budget to enable the concerned agencies disbursed it.
Before now, pupils in public schools paid N1000 per term each under the education policy of Schools’ Governing Boards (SGBs) of Senator Abiola Ajimobi administration. The N1000 fees were domiciled in the accounts of the schools for their smooth-running.
A teacher, who spoke in confidence, narrated how the principal’s office was invaded four times within a month in a secondary school at Moniya, Ibadan.
The source stated that such a case had never happened in the history of the school when it was enjoying the services of security guards.