By Dayo Adesulu
The Vice Chancellor, Tai Solarin University of Education, (TASUED) Ijebu Ode and the immediate past Commissioner for Education Ogun State, Professor, Olusegun Awonusi has reiterated that, until the Federal Government allocates a reasonable percentage of its annual budget to education, the government will not achieve its vision 20:2020 on the sector.
Speaking with Vanguard Education Weekly recently, he said that we have gotten to a stage in this country where government cannot do it all, but to allow heathy competition in the education sector. Insisting that, in spites of the huge achievement of Governor Gbenga Daniel in education in Ogun State, he still deems it necessary to handover Girls Grammar School, Ijebu Ode, May Flower Ikenne, Our Ladies of Apostle Catholic Secondary School, Ijebu Ode to mention a few to Mission.
Recalling the impact of Governor Gbenga Daniel in education sector in Ogun State, the VC asserted thatÂ in the wake of decline in quality and faulty education system in Nigeria, Governor Gbenga Daniel has thrown his weight behind education to revamping the sector in the state.
According to Awonusi, when Gbenga Daniel assumed power 2003 as the governor of Ogun State, the secondary school system in the state was at a low ebb as the total secondary school teachers was 7,250 against the present strength of 18,000 in seven years. He noted that the number of teachers in the state is presently 35,770. Out of which the Ogun State government has employed 18,000 within five years amounting to over 50 per cent increased teacher population.
The drastic change has however reduced teachers -pupil ratio from 1:56 to 1:25 said Awonusi. By that strength of employment in the sector, it became the largest in the south-west, says the VC. Moreover, he asserted that, there were about 120 pupils in a class in 2003 adding that the situation has changed as a minimum of twenty-five people are now in a classroom.
The former Commissioner maintained that, in tandem with UBEC, 830 classrooms were constructed in the last four years with ETF support of twenty-five blocks of classrooms constructed in secondary schools and supply of exercise books, pencils to all primary schools and secondary schools.
Explaining SUBEB performance under Gbenga Daniel, he said that the Board handled the on-going 2006 intervention met on ground and implemented the 2007 intervention as well. The new construction includes 564 classrooms constructed in 204 primary schools and 206 junior secondary schools. On rehabilitation, Awonusi stressed that a total of 388 classrooms were rehabilitated in 119 primary school and 269 in junior secondary schools with a total of 76 toilets provided in 76 primary schools.
He noted however that, gone are the days when pupils and students sit on the floor in the classroom, adding that, adequate furniture has been provided for 105,862 pupils, 7,844 teachers and 524 head teachers in the state. Ogun State, according to Awonusi, presently has about 467 public secondary schools with JSS topping the figures with 192, SSS 172, while the combination of JSS and SSS is 103.
Tertiary education in the state has witnessed giant stride in the past seven years, said the former commissioner, saying that 22 tertiary institutions have been accredited in addition to the 5 applications waiting for accreditation with (NUC).
In his break down, he pointed out that Ogun State has one federal university, two state universities and six private universities. Besides, it has one federal polytechnics, one state and one private polytechnics. The colleges of education include, one federal, one state and one private own. He added that specialized institutions were not left out in the state as it added to its credit three specialized institutions that belong to the state.
ICT-based Polytechnics own by the state are four in number. This is to ensure, according to the former CommissionerÂ that everybody in the state has access to qualitative education.Â The VC explained further that the tertiary institution were not only accredited by NUC but also have majourity of their programmes accredited. He said that Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) has 90 per cent accreditation of programmes in 2008 while Tai Solarin University or Education (TASUED) got 100 per cent accreditation of thirty-six programmes in 2007.
For polytechnics programme accreditation, MAPOLY had 100 per cent of 34 programmes in 2008 and 4 ICT got 100 per cent of all their ten programmes in 2009.