The Ogun government said it had beefed up security around all public schools in the state to guard against the incidence of kidnapping.
Gov. Dapo Abiodun said this on Wednesday in Abeokuta when he received members of the House of Representatives Committee on Basic Education, led by its Chairman, Prof. Julius Ihonvbere.
Abiodun described the measure as a proactive step in the light of the recent kidnappings of students in some parts of the country.
“As a responsible government, we have approved employment of security men in all our schools. We do not want to be reactive on the issue of security in our schools.
“We want to ensure that our children and teachers are safe while in school,” the governor said.
He also announced plans to rehabilitate 600 schools across the state before the end of his first term in office.
According to him, the projects are part of efforts to ensuring conducive environment for teaching and learning in the schools.
He noted that his administration had invested huge fund on infrastructure in the education sector, stating that more investments needed to be made to take the schools to greater heights.
“In spite of the much we have done, each time I see some news items on the television or newspaper about one school whose roofs are about to fall, I ask myself when will we cover all these schools.
“The task to rehabilitate the schools to ensure conducive environment for the children to learn remains our priority.
“Our target is that by the end of the first four years in office, we will have given about 600 schools a facelift.
“We are also in the process of awarding the construction of 60,000 furniture contract so that the children can sit comfortably while learning,” Abidun said.
He assured that his administration would accord necessary priority to basic education, saying “ basic education is the foundation on which other levels of education are built upon’’.
The governor added that a committee had been put in place to monitor and evaluate projects being executed with grants from the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC).
Earlier in his remarks, Ihonvbere noted that the Federal Government had spent about N375 billion on basic education in the last 10 years.
He said that the committee was in the state on an oversight visit to assess what it had achieved with UBEC grants.
The chairman said that basic education was going through some turbulent times in some parts of the country as a result of activities of bandits and kidnappers.
He, however, hailed the state government for emphasising on quality, functional and technology driven education.
Ihonvbere also lauded Ogun for paying its 2018, 2019 and 2020 counterpart fund, noting that the state still had about N2.7 billion to access from the commission.
The lawmaker, however, urged the government to construct perimeter fence, provide water and continue to rehabilitate dilapidated schools in the state. (NAN)