Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi on Wednesday, inaugurated three model smart secondary schools across the three senatorial districts of the state with an assurance that the incoming administration would do greater exploits in the sector, because of the solid foundation that has been laid.
The Governor who also inaugurated a new office complex for the State Universal Basis Education Board (SUBEB), said the huge investments his administration made in the education sector, was already yielding dividends.
Dr Fayemi who was accompanied by the Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Board (UBEC), Dr Hamid Bobboyi, inaugurated the 36-classroom Harding College in Ado Ekiti, and Senatorial Model Smart Schools in Isan and Ijan Ekiti in the Ekiti Knowledge Zone respectively.
Governor Fayemi, at a brief ceremony at the Harding College, reiterated the need for royal fathers, community leaders, religious leaders, philanthropist and others to support government in turning public schools to centre of excellence.
The Governor, who boasted that he was a product of public schools, stated that his administration’s investment in the last 47 months in education had contributed to improved school enrolment, excellent performance of students in national exams, well equipped teachers and provision of conducive environment for qualitative teaching and learning in the state.
Speaking on the steps taken to improve the sector, Dr Fayemi highlighted free and compulsory education policy, payment of counterpart fund to UBEC for the period from 2015 to 2021, payment of running grants to all public primary and secondary schools in the state, massive rehabilitation of school infrastructure.
Others included, construction of additional school buildings, payment of WAEC examination fees for all students in public schools as well as the provision of conducive teaching and learning environment in schools, introduction of an aggressive training and retraining programme in partnership with UBEC under which over 15,000 teachers, school administrators and school support officers have been trained in the last three years.
“As we inaugurate this school complex for use today, I want to underscore emphatically the commitment of my administration to make our schools more attractive to children of school age through the introduction of pupil friendly initiatives as well as the teaching of practical agricultural entrepreneurship and sporting activities that would make our pupils have all round skills.
“As you all aware, our administration has never hidden its intention of making public schools centres of excellence that can compete favourably with private schools in no distant future. Since the incoming administration is an off-shoot of this administration, it is expected that it will not only continue these giant strides but further consolidate the gains made in the sector.“ He added.
The Harding Memorial College which was built to honour and immortalize Revd. Thomas Harding who was one of the European Anglican Missionaries that served and died in the state, is equipped with over 50 toilets, chemistry, biology and physics laboratories as well as ICT and home economics laboratories. It also has a water treatment plant and an examination hall.
In his remarks, Executive Secretary UBEC, Dr Hamid Bobboyi, commended Governor Fayemi’s effort at ensuring that school age children had access to free education that are close to them.
He explained that the two smart model schools built and equipped with modern facilities including ICT, sick bay, technical laboratories and others in the State were facilitated by Governor Fayemi to ensure that students in the rural areas are not denied access to basic education in their neighbourhood.