A committee of academics and seasoned administrators assembled by the Oyo State Government has recommended a school-based management board to run public schools in the state.
The committee also blamed the non-chalant attitude of students and lack of commitment by parents for the dismal education standards in the state.
The 31-member committee on participatory management of public schools in the state disclosed this in its report presented to the Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, in Ibadan, on Wednesday.
To alter the status quo, it recommended the adoption of school-based management system that would vest authority and responsibility of school administration in a school board in place of the state authorities.
The committee, which was headed by the Vice Chancellor of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Prof. Adeniyi Gbadegesin, was inaugurated on July 12, 2016.
Presenting the report, the chairman said that the seven-week exercise took the team to 29 secondary schools across urban, semi-urban and rural communities in the eight education zones of the state to gather firsthand data.
In recommending the model, Gbadegesin said that the committee took cognizance of the willingness of majority of stakeholders to partner the state government in the running of the schools.
He said, “The recommended model does not preclude the openness of government to philanthropic gestures, partial or total adoption of schools by individuals, organisations or local and international groups.
“However, this should be carried out within the general objectives, policy and stringent guidelines (of the state government) for the delivery of education to the people of Oyo State.
“The outcome of our study clearly reveals that government alone can no longer bear the responsibility of providing the fiscal, material and human resources needed for the management of schools.
“Stakeholders in the education sector must now brace for more active participation in the education of their children, while government must be in the driving seat. Delivery of education is a collective responsibility that involves families, communities, civil societies, organisations and business.
“The report…notes the dismal performance of students in examinations, their nonchalant attitude to their studies, the noncommittal of some parents to their children’s education.”
Receiving the report, the governor thanked members of the committee for their painstaking efforts and robust input to the proposed participatory management of public schools in the state.
Ajimobi said, “We must all appreciate this committee for their painstaking efforts at giving a good tomorrow to our children. We hope that your recommendations would be the bedrock of a new beginning and a fulcrum for a paradigm shift in our education policy.
“I am quite sure that you must have looked into the templates of states in the country that are doing well in the education sector in coming up with these recommendations.”
The governor maintained that the administration would not allow further decadence in the education sector, with a challenge to stakeholders to join hands with the government in the task ahead.
“As contained in this report government alone cannot fund education, but we will strive to get education across to our people without any barrier because once people get educated, their understanding about life will be different.”
If adopted, the SBM board could comprise principals, parents, teachers, community leaders and other stakeholders, who will administer the school directly in line with the general objective, policy and stringent guidelines prescribed by the government.
The decentralized system will afford the SBMB to independently determine school budgets, allocation of resources, monitoring of teachers and students’ activities, infrastructural development planning, among others.
The report said that the model encourages responsiveness, autonomy for stakeholders, greater and quality services as well as efficiency at lower cost.
While there are many ways in which SBM can be practiced, all forms are based on the premise that school sites becomes the central locus of control and decision making, with the belief that those closest to the schools are in good stead to take informed decisions.
In the recommended model, schools are compelled to become more competitive and responsive to local needs through the inclusion of parents and community members on the management board.
The semi autonomy, nonetheless, schools are required to be managed in line with the state education policy, while they are usually required to report their efforts to the central or state government, as the case may be.