Ogun State Government through the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology says, it has granted approval for the operations of 129 primary and 89 secondary schools in the State, between January and June this year, just as all necessary measures had been put in place to ensure reopening of academic institutions, especially for students in terminal classes, in preparation for the forthcoming West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination.
The Management team of the Ministry, comprising the Special Adviser to the Governor on Primary and Secondary Education, Mrs. Ronke Soyombo and her Technical and Vocational Education counterpart, Prof. Joseph Odemuyiwa said this during the ongoing 2020 Budget Assessment of the Ministry, before members of the State House of Assembly Committee on Education, Science and Technology, led by Hon. Adeyemi Ademuyiwa, at the Assembly Complex, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
According to them, part of measures devised was to sink boreholes to supply water to the 10- point mechanized hand washing system in the 510 secondary schools, with adequate provision of isolation rooms to be managed by 350 newly trained health workers.
Assuring of government’s readiness at providing personal protective kits like facemasks to pupils and teachers, the officials stated that the Ministry had provided a web-based system to determine the risk assessment put in place for schools, after which certificate of compliance would be issued by the Ministry.
“The State government is keen on safeguarding and protecting the lives of staff and students, we will also do more interventions for students that were not opportune to follow Ogun Digiclass, so that it will cover lapses of these students before writing their exams”, Soyombo submitted.
The team further disclosed that all the ten tertiary institutions were also working on post Covid-19 academic processes, while they explore the virtual learning platforms to engage students, in continuation of academic calendar, for effective learning process.
They added that no fewer than 95 blocks of classrooms had been renovated in public primary and secondary schools across the State within the period.
On the activities of the ministry during the off-school period occasioned by COVID-19, Soyombo said the Education Management Information System in partnership with Microsoft was explored for the running of the ongoing Digiclass platform which electronically engaged over 25, 000 primary and secondary teachers to provide resources material including teaching notes for all subjects, with a view to ensuring standard in teaching and learning.
The Ministry assured of more incentives and manpower development programmes including training, disclosing that plans were underway to have a 15-man committee governing body in schools, to provide alternative funding and management plans for secondary school, membership of which would include philanthropists, Alumni and representatives of the Parent Teachers Association (PTA).
In their respective comments, the lawmakers commended the initiatives of the ministry, especially in the engagement of student in academic activities through the virtual platforms, charging the ministry to improve on monitoring of schools, towards upholding standard of excellence and academic performance for all categories of students.
They equally urged the Ministry and other agencies under it to orientate residents in the State on the need to tap into the rich potentials of technical education, describing it as a feasible alternative channel for gifted people to explore their skills irrespective of academic qualifications.