Oyo schools resume amid concerns over running grants

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Yinka ADETUNJI
Schools in Oyo state are one week into the 2021/2022 academic session. But it has been a mixed feeling.
While both students and teachers appeared enthusiastic about the development having previously stayed at home for seven weeks, this isn’t so among members of the administrative cadre in public schools (primary and secondary), who are apprehensive of the financial implications of the prospect.
ogbomosoinsightonline.com visited some schools in Ibadan (the state capital), Oyo town and Ogbomoso last week and one common concern is how to meet the financial needs of the term amid paucity of funds in schools.
A teacher speaking on condition of anonymity told ogbomosoinsightonline.com, “Yes, we are happy resuming another academic session, we are eager to impart knowledge to our students knowing the students are the future of this country but the morale is low particularly among the administrators owing to inadequate funds.
“No school was given running grants in the second and third terms of the last session i.e. 2020/2021, that l am aware of, yet schools were run. Many principals ran their schools on credit. They conducted exams, bought chalks, bought materials for science practicals and executed many other projects just to ensure their schools operated maximally.
“Many spend their personal monies or how do they tell teachers there are no chalks or items for notes of lesson. Schools have resumed again, these items are again being obtained on credit. Second term of last session no running grants, the same thing third term,” the visibly frustrated teacher said.
He added, “Could you believe students were not given report cards last session as government which used to supply these did not do so, so, many schools resorted to photocopyong of report sheets to give to students. I know of principals who took loans to repair fallen roofs of classrooms in their schools, things are bad.”
Another teacher who also begged not to be named for obvious reasons informed, “In my school we have been asked to use 2B exercise books as attendance register for students, 60leaves distributed to students by the government last session as notes of lesson, we were told to manage everything.”
However commending the Engr Seyi Makinde the teacher said the governor was trying in the area of salaries to workers. “We are sure to collect salaries on the 24th this month since the 25th falls on Saturday.
“Also, we have received our letters of promotions up till 2020. That is wonderful, no governor ever did that and it will be monetized, we have peace of mind but l don’t know with the issue of running grants,” it was stated.
Meanwhile, no school administrator was ready to react on the issue.
It was further found out that infrastructures are decaying in schools as no repairs are being done since there are no government interventions and schools can’t charge students, the situation is gloomy.
“If government cannot bear the financial burdens of running schools all alone, parents should be involved through payment of levies, paying minimal amount on each student by the parents will go a long way in ameliorating the situation, no one will crucify the government, we all know the economic situation of the country as it affects governments,” a concerned parent averred.

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