Public School Enrolment Soars In Ogun State0
Enrollment figures for public primary and secondary schools in Ogun State have been on the upward swing since the advent of the Senator Ibikunle Amosun administration, investigations have revealed. Governor Ibikunle Amosun, during his inauguration on May 29, 2011, had declared free education in all public primary and secondary schools, insisting that “government owes the citizenry the duty to ensure that education at the two levels remains free to allow the children of the under privileged to benefit.”
The administration then followed up the declaration with distribution of free instructional materials and textbooks to the school pupils.Parents responded positively to the development by sending their children to public schools, as figures gleaned from the Department of Planning, Research and Statistics of the state Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, indicate that enrollment figures in the two tiers of education have risen significantly. Enrollment for Secondary schools, which stood at 292,324 in 2010/2011 academic year, had risen to 387,915 in 2011/2012 academic session.
Enrollment for primary schools equally jumped from 406,890 in the 2010/2011 academic session to 506,002 in 2012/2013 session. Observers believe that this development is an expression of confidence by parents in the Free Education Policy of the State Government. Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Dr Tunji Abimbola, attributed the numerical increase also to the total over hauling of the education sector, which was nearly comatose before the inauguration of the present administration. He explained that the Amosun’s policy of free instructional materials and textbooks to pupils, continuous rehabilitation of school buildings, regular payment of teachers’ salaries, training and retraining of teachers, promotion of staff as and when due,restoration of running cost to government schools, among others, had combined to make public education attractive again to the citizens. “Interestingly, these efforts by the state government have had negative impact on the enrollment figures for private schools in the state as most of the proprietors now groan under low patronage,” he said.
The Special Adviser, who allayed fears over the rise in enrollment figures, said the 26 model schools under construction would be ready to absorb more students from the next academic session.