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By Dipo Olowookere

Automatic promotion in public schools across Oyo State has been banned by the state government. This information was revealed at a ministerial press briefing by the Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Professor Adeniyi Olowofela.

The Commissioner noted that there was a surgical operation going on in the education sector in the state starting with automatic promotion which he said adversely affected the standard of education not only in Oyo state but Nigeria as a whole.

He explained that the state government has introduced the ‘No Automatic Promotion” policy and started a unified examination system as well as harmonized grading for S.S 1 and 2 students in public schools in the state to improve the state’s performances in external examinations, WAEC and NECO.

He noted that the efforts of the government has started yielding fruitful results with the state coming 2nd in NECO external examination in 2016, better than 12th position of 2015, urging that the media should be wary of the reports they publish so as not to mislead the general public on the present rating of the state in external examinations.

Mr Olowofela stated that the recently introduced School Governing Boards for Public secondary schools in the state is a master stroke that is changing the schools’ system, emphasising that the paradigm has changed and the SGBs are improving the standard of education and infrastructures in Oyo State schools.

He posited that the SGB model will outlive the present administration as it is yielding positive results already, explaining “One of our SGBs put N125m to renovate their school and they are presently trying to raise N1 billion now. The SGB is a master stroke that will change education in the state forever.

“Government has also approved and initiated the process of renovating 100 schools with about N5 billion comprising of N3 billion counterpart funding and N1.9 billion which is a combination of funds generated from the students’ levies and state government’s internally generated revenue.

“We want our students to take advantage of our Oyo State Model Education System Intervention (OYOMESI) to build good character and the Ajumose Legacy Note for secondary schools to download text books from the web, while the hard copies are also available in the Ministry,” the Commissioner stressed.

Mr Olowofela said that the Education Trust Fund (ETF) inaugurated recently by Governor Abiola Ajimobi would complement the budgetary allocation at all levels by the government, adding that 5 percent of VAT to State/Local Government will go to ETF as well as 1% from IGR and 1% paid by students of private schools will go into the pool.

The Commissioner pointed out that The Technical University, Ibadan (TechU) will be self-financing, saying that the government is just midwifing the university that will develop the vocational skills of its students and promote technical education.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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