Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said the state government will not hand over schools to missions or other stakeholders yet, because the state is still gathering data and studying the outcome of such experiment in the past, amid other issues that must be addressed.
Obaseki made the submission when he received the National Executive Council members of Annunciation Catholic College Irrua Old Boys Association (ACCIOBA) led by the association’s National President, Dr. Frank Odafen, on a courtesy visit to Government House, in Benin City.
Governor Obaseki said, “The state will not relent in tackling challenges confronting the education sector. We have started implementing reforms to improve access to quality education at the basic level, because we believe education has always given the state a competitive advantage.”
He noted that more funds will be sourced to improve basic education, which is the foundation of a vibrant, knowledge-driven economy, adding “Part of the reforms to improve the sector is the reassigning of the Commissioner of Science and Technology, Emmanuel Agbale to oversee the Education Ministry four weeks ago. We have also appointed consultants to assist the state in sourcing resources to enable us address the challenges confronting the sector.”
On the request that the Annunciation Catholic College (ACC), Irrua be handed over to Old Boys of the school and the Catholic Mission, Obaseki said government holds the school in trust for the people, and that such move would require extensive stakeholder engagement.
He said “As governor, I am to uphold public trust. I swore to uphold the constitution which empowered me to hold certain assets of the state in trust for the people. I am not at liberty to give out such assets.”
“We are still gathering data and studying the outcomes of the handover of schools carried out as experiments few years ago. The exercise has raised several issues that must be addressed,” he said.
Dr. Odafen lauded the governor for the infrastructural development across the state, noting, “ACCIOBA as a group, will support ongoing reforms to improve education in the state. We will join hands with government to return Edo to its glorious past when it topped list of states in the country with access to quality education.”
He added, “We will continue to contribute our part in improving education, as we have built halls, constructed roads, perimeter fencing, offered scholarships to students and facilitated payment of salaries to ten teachers in Annunciation Catholic College, Irrua.”