Governor Ajimobi has been nicknamed the constituted authority of Oyo State, especially on social media. Don’t you think this is derogatory?
It is not derogatory. Is he not a constituted authority in the state? Who else should be carrying that title? If you are class teacher, you are a constituted authority in the class that you teach. If you are a pastor and you ask the congregation to make some noise or you ask them to rise up, you are a constituted authority in that church.
But the people voted for him…
That is what makes him a constituted authority.
The opposition has described the education policies of Ajimobi as comatose. What is he doing to correct this abnormality?
If you have been following the trend of things in Oyo State, especially the education sector, you’ll agree with me that the governor has done very well. When we came in 2011, the system was so bad that Oyo State was ranked 29 out of the 36 states of federation. Unfortunately, the past government was spending billions of naira on education, with nothing to show for it. Now, to confront the problem headlong, government targeted three things, in rejiging education in Oyo State, namely: students, teachers and infrastructures. Before 2015 election, we recruited over 5,000 teachers. That means if the problem is shortage of teachers, over 5,000 were injected into the system. Secondly, if the 5,000 will not be enough, there is a plan in the pipeline that primary school teachers with degrees should be transferred to secondary schools. We went round the primary and secondary schools and we discovered that in some primary schools, they have four teachers in a class, teaching between 10 and 15 pupils. So, if we drafted them to the junior secondary schools, it will give us far more teachers at the secondary school level. We have gone beyond that at the moment. There was an educational summit in 2012, immediately after Governor Ajimobi was inaugurated. Government has started the implementation of the findings of that summit. One of the findings was that some of the teachers don’t go to school regularly, especially those in rural areas. A number of them will stay in urban areas; they only go back at month end to receive their salaries. Recently, the governing board was constituted in virtually all the secondary schools. They will be monitoring from the principal to the non-teaching staff. Membership of this governing board is so diverse that it took care of almost all stakeholders such as alumnus, principals, community leaders within the vicinity of the school, current school prefects and the religion leaders in the communities where the schools are located. They are members of the board and they will be meeting regularly to deliberate on the state of affairs of the schools. So, I won’t be surprised in the next one year, if we witness a revolution in the area of infrastructure, because when you have a board for a school, they can call former students who are well to do in the society to assist their alma mater. So, a lot of silent revolution is taking place in the educational sector. Few weeks ago, Oyo State keyed into the homegrown school feeding policy of the Federal government. The issue of automatic promotion has been discarded. You have to pass the promotional exams before you can be promoted to another class. By the time we begin to see the result of this silent revolution; it will take the state to its rightful position which is to set the pace.