By Victor Akinkuolie, Ado-Ekiti
Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has inaugurated three model smart secondary schools across the three senatorial districts of the state.
He assured that the incoming administration would do greater exploits in the sector, because of the solid foundation that he has 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 into the education sector, was already yielding dividends.
Fayemi inaugurated the 36-classroom Harding College in Ado Ekiti, and Senatorial Model Smart Schools in Isan and Ijan Ekiti in the Ekiti Knowledge Zone, Ijan and Iṣan Ekiti respectively.
He reiterated the need for royal fathers, community leaders, religious leaders, philanthropists and others to support government in turning public schools to centre of excellence.
While boasting that he is a product of public schools, Fayemi said his administration’s investment in the last 47 months in education had contributed to improve 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.
He highlighted that his administration had provided free and compulsory education policy, payment of counterpart fund to UBEC 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 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.
“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, built to honour and immortalize Revd. Thomas Harding, who was one of the European Anglican Missionaries that served and died in the State, was 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 the Governor for ensuring that school age children had access to free education.