The Ogun State Government has said that it has spent over N25 billion between May 2012 and April 2014 to fund its free education policy in all public primary and secondary schools across the state.
The government also said N16 billion out of the N25 billion was expended on payment of salaries and allowances of both teaching and non-teaching staff in all the public primary and secondary schools in the state during the period.
It however, did not disclose the amount spent on its 28 model schools which it said has gulped some millions of naira, saying, few of them were nearing completion.
The state’s Commissioner for Education, Segun Odubela stated these Saturday, during a ministerial press briefing held at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta to herald the third anniversary of the Ibikunle Amosun administration.
Odubela said that the government has sustained its free education policy in all public primary and secondary schools with abolition of tuition fees and all forms of levies.
Giving the statistics of the expenditure of the ministry on free education as part of the achievements of the government within the period under review, the commissioner said N1.8 billion was spent on the purchase of free textbooks distributed to all public primary and secondary schools pupils and students.
He also said that, N750 million has been spent on provision of instructional materials distributed to students in public schools while N120 million was spent on bursary, scholarship and grants to students of Ogun State origin.
Other achievements listed by the commissioner include: N58 million spent to offset the 2011/2012 junior School Certificate Examination fees while N53 million was expended on the same exam in 2012/2013 just as the government has earmarked N58.7 million for 2013/2014 .
The commissioner, who was flanked by the Vice-Chancellor, Rectors and Provost of the state-owned tertiary institutions, said a sum of N1.5 billion was spent as payment of West African Examination fees for all final year students in public secondary schools since 2011 till date.
According to him, running cost grant payment to secondary schools principals between 2011 and 2013 was estimated N220 million.
On capital expenditure, Odubela said a sum of N1billion was expended between May 2013 and April 2014, which represents 1.93 per cent while recurrent expenditure for the period was put at N34.5 million.
Meanwhile, the state government has said that it is putting measures in place to discourage teachers in public primary and secondary schools from patronising private schools.
The Chairman of the State Universal Education Board (SUBEB), Chief Mufutau Ajibola said this while responding to questions from newsmen.
Ajibola however, said it would not disclose the strategies to be adopted in discouraging the teachers in order not jeopardise the process.
He added that the five Al-Majiri schools introduced by the Federal government have begun full operation with the sixth one nearing completion.
In her own presentation, the chairman of the State Technical and Vocational Education Board, Doyin Ogunbiyi said the board has finalised plans to organise a stakeholder forum on June 19, this year.
Ogunbiyi said the purpose of the forum approved by governor Ibikunle Amosun is for a cross fertilisation of ideas and to seek ways of repositioning technical and vocational education in the state.
She added that the board facilitated vocational training for 1000 youths across the state while partnering with World Bank, Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Oodua Investments Company to train and equip the youth on different vocational skills.