There is a looming crisis in the education sector in Osun State, as the state government was concludes plans to merge schools in the state together.But the government has refuted such a claim, saying the merger plan has been well received.
Sunday Tribune gathered that the new policy has started generating tension in the education sector of the state. The new arrangement, the source said, had made some school principals to resign their appointments, following their demotions.
According to a source “the merger affected some of the principals whose schools have been merged, elevated or relegated and they could no longer continue with their new status, hence some of them are now vice principals.”
It was reliably gathered that communities and missions were poised for war with the government. Some old students of the merged schools are threatening to take legal actions against the government for cancellation of their alma maters and seek legal justification for what they described as “irrational and abnormal educational policy in the state.”
Sunday Tribune reliably gathered that some of the schools that would be affected by the merger include some primary schools, secondary schools and tertiary institutions in the state. Some of the secondary schools include: Osogbo Grammar School; Methodist High School, Ilesha; Fakunle Comprehensive Grammar School, Osogbo and some other notable secondary schools in the state.
Also to be affected are the campuses of Osun State University in Ikire, Ipetu-Ijesa, Ejigbo and Okuku. The university which was established on collegiate operations in the three geo-political zones of the state, by former Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola with a provost as the head of each campus is said to be financially and administratively tasking by the current government of the state.
The campuses, according to findings by Sunday Tribune, will soon be regarded as faculties which will be headed by deans, but not by provosts.
Also, as a result of the merger, primary and post-primary students who should have resumed for the commencement of the 2013/2014 academic session could not resume last Monday. The holiday was extended by two weeks.
Sources in the State Ministry of Education disclosed that the government had been moving round the state, holding meetings with traditional rulers and stakeholders in the education sector to convince them on reasons why some of the schools were to be merged.
By the new arrangement, students will run a 4 – 3 – 3 system of education. Primary school pupils, the source explained, will be running the “primary stream as elementary schools, while Junior Secondary Schools (JSS) have been proscribed for a middle school.” The middle class includes primary 5 and 6; and J.S.S. 1 – 3; while the senior secondary Schools will be regarded as high schools.
An ex-student of Ilesa Grammar School, Mr. Oludare Ojomuyiwa who spoke with Sunday Tribune queried the state government’s policy. “Why should the educational structure of the state be different from other parts of the country? Where do we have elementary school, middle school and high school in Nigeria?” He queried.
Commenting on the plan by some communities to oppose the merger of schools in Osun, the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Sunday Akere said “There is no opposition from any community on the re-classification of schools by the government.”