By David Adeoye
Ibadan, Jan 19, 2021 Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, says his administration remains committed to digitalising the educational system, with a view to bringing about qualitative education and enhancing teaching and learning in the state.
Makinde said this while receiving a delegation of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) in his office at the State Secretariat, Ibadan on Tuesday.
The delegation was led by the Country Director of KOICA, Mr Woochan Chang.
The governor said that the state government was ready to partner with KOICA on quality education service delivery in the state.
The KOICA delegation was in Ibadan to inspect ongoing construction works on a Smart (Model) School Project being constructed by UBEC in Sogunro village, along Moniya-Oyo road in Akinyele Local Government Area.
Makinde informed the delegation that his government budgeted 21 to 22 per cent for education in the 2021 budget as part of his administration’s determination to improve the standard of education in the state.
He said: “I personally take special interest in the smart school project. I went to the project site and we will ensure that the quality meets international standards.
“I am glad that you are looking at interventions in ICT because e-governance is something we have also been looking at.
“With the pandemic, the challenges for us to take knowledge to our students became really compounded. So, what we have done in Oyo state, even at this secretariat, is to move toward e-governance.
“We have laid fiber-optic cables all around. We have bought computers and we are in the process of ensuring that our processes are moved toward e-governance where we are not going to be carrying files all over the place.
“We are doing the same thing at the primary and secondary school levels.’’
The governor said that the state government was preparing people for e-governance.
According to him, the importance of moving everybody, both the students and teachers to have appreciation of ICT became really hectic.
“You have our commitment as we have the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) and Chairman of SUBEB to take you to our ICT centre here.
“Before we came in, it was just a dream in the pipeline but we are now executing,” he said.
The governor said that the on-going construction work on the Smart (Model) School project in Ibadan would be ready for commissioning in the next eight to 10 weeks.
“This is me having the responsibility to ensure that our programmes for the improvement of education in the state are executed,” he said.
The governor noted that his administration would like to collaborate with KOICA in the area of vocational and technical education in the state.
He said: “Quite frankly, we will love to have intervention programmes in our vocational and technical education as well, because we have a lot of our graduates either riding Okada (motorcycles) or roaming the streets.
“Yes, they get a formal education but there is still a gap in terms of responsibility and how they can easily just roll into the economy and make their contributions.
“I know that South Korea has been at the forefront of technology. So, soft areas such as vocational and technical will be good curriculum for us.
“These are areas that if we have partners willing and able to support us, we will demonstrate the seriousness that is required.”
Earlier, the country director of KOICA said that the agency was partnering with UBEC on the provision of multimedia equipment and facilities to the model school.
“We are here on assessment. We’ve met the governor, SUBEB chairman and other education officials in the state.
“We are here for an on-the-site visit to the school construction area. We need to see how much the government and SUBEB are eager to utilise the investment for the future education in the state.
“We are representing the Government of South Korea. We have supported many countries in the world.
“KOICA is supporting many countries on social and economic developments.
“Basically, we promote digital performance and digital education in Nigeria. On the other hand, we have interest in promoting ICT, digital education in Nigeria,” Chang said.