AGAINST the backdrop of ‘no automatic promotion’ policy for students in public secondary schools in the state, the Oyo state government said on Tuesday that for repeaters who would not like to continue in the secondary school, there is always the option of state owned Technical Colleges towards choosing the right career for themselves, which would make their professional life.
The state commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Professor Adeniyi Olowofela stated this at the sensitization workshop on key policy directions towards improved secondary school system in Oyo State held at the cultural centre, Mokola, Ibadan.
Considering the unfavorable impression, Olowofela noted that there is an urgent need to expose the parents to the benefits of technical and vocational education as solution to growing youth unemployment and restiveness.
He said, “in this constantly changing and increasingly competitive world, that country will not prosper, which has a large population of uneducated youth. Oyo State’s pacesetter status makes us ever forward looking.
“The situation of repeaters in our secondary schools is at variance with the vision of the government of the day to make the State a knowledge based economy, where unemployed graduates and secondary school leavers are equipped with competitive support service skills that make them sought after by employers”.
Speaking further, the commissioner recalled that the ‘No Automatic Promotion’ policy led to several unsavoury fallouts, saying that having been fully convinced of the beneficial nature of the policy, government forged ahead and the schools are beginning to reap the dividends accruable therefrom.
“However, an aspect of the unsavoury outcome of the policy I must not fail to mention here is the escalation in the rate of truancy and anti – social behaviours in our schools, being perpetrated by repeaters who have stopped attending classes. The Ministry has been kept on her toes working with schools to deal with the ‘no man’s land’ set up by these students. Known by different names – School Two, Phase Two, Abete, Forest, Sambisa, Desert – these locations serve as hideout where repeaters indulge their baser natures”, he explained.
While appreciating the parents for their cooperation with government in its move to restore education in the state to a sound footing, he assured that with their continued cooperation, the Ministry under his watch will continue to work in the best interests of their wards and children according to the vision of the present administration in the state.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman, Centre for Organizational and Professional Ethics (COPE – Africa), Dr Adeyeye Adewole disclosed that the program is part of the re – positioning agenda of Oyo state government aimed at creating necessary awareness and proactive response mechanism from among critical stakeholders as well as engender much needed support so that everyone can adequately key into the on – going reformative strategies towards sustainable development of Oyo state educational system.
Adeyeye added that other key features of the program are to enlighten and brainstorm on key policy directions of government particularly the ‘no automatic promotion ‘ policy and the needs for other stakeholders such as parents to wake up to their responsibility as well as to provoke attitudinal change towards technical and vocational education by encouraging enrolments of pupils into available Oyo state Technical Institutions because of assurances of job creation and future prospect in the present dispensation.
He, however commended the state government for the boldness, passion and commitment to addressing critical challenges that have bedeviled the education system over time.
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