Worried by the recent kidnapping of students in schools by bandits in some parts of the country, the Ogun State Government said it has beefed up security in all its schools across the state.
The State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun disclosed this when he received members of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Basic Education, led by its Chairman, Prof Julius Ihonvbere, when they paid him a courtesy visit in his office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
This was contained in a statement by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, a copy of which made available to our correspondent.
Governor Abiodun said as a responsive governor, he has approved employment of security men in all the public schools, as he did not want to be reactive on the issue of security.
He said he was interested in protecting the students and their teachers also.
The Governor also said about 600 schools would be rehabilitated across the State as part of efforts to provide conducive environment for teaching and learning before the end of his first term in office.
Governor Abiodun described the condition in which children learn as ‘deplorable’, saying though his administration has invested so much on infrastructure in the education sector, much still needed to be done to achieve the desired result.
He said the state was in the process of awarding contract for the construction of 60,000 furniture for sitting comfort of the students while learning.
Governor Abiodun disclosed that an Education Trust Fund has been created in order to have a pool of fund to deploy to the sector.
He said basic education would continue to receive priority, as it was the foundation where other levels of education is building upon, informing his guests that a Committee has been put in place to monitor and evaluate projects been executed with grants from the Universal Basic Education Commission.
Speaking earlier, Prof. Ihonvbere, lauded the State for paying its 2018, 2019 and 2020 counterpart fund, noting that the State still has about N2.7bn to access from UBEC.
Prof. Ihonvbere said the Federal government has so far spent about N375bn on basic education in the last 10 years.
He stated that the Committee was in the state as part of its oversight function to see what the State has been able to do with UBEC grants, identify best practices as well as lessons it could take to other states.
He said, “In spite of the much we have done, each time I see some news items on the television or newspaper about one school whose roof is about to fall, I say to myself ‘when will we cover all these schools?’ And we have rehabilitated so many schools. Having a conducive environment for our children to learn remains our priority. Our target is that by the end of our first four years in office, we would have done about 600 schools by giving them a facelift.
“We are also in the process of awarding contract for the construction of 60,000 furniture so that our children can sit comfortably while learning.”