THE Senator representing Ogun East senatorial district at the National Assembly, Mr Adegbenga Kaka, on Monday, cautioned the Ogun State government, under the leadership of Senator Ibikunle Amosun, against playing politics with development of education in the state.
He said this at the inauguration of three blocks of classrooms, head teacher’s office and toilet facilities worth N23.5 million at Maddiyat Memorial Primary, Onirugba, Ijebu-Ode, which he facilitated through the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 2013 projects.
The lawmaker, who was a former deputy governor in the state, alleged that the government had continued to frustrate his efforts towards the development of education in the state.
Kaka accused the governor of preventing him and his colleagues in the Senate from inaugurating their constituency projects in the state, saying such an action was no longer charitable in the 21st Century.
He said that his passion for education and the deteriorating situation of the infrastructure in such schools informed his decision to embark on the project.
“We have repeatedly said we should take politics out of the education of our children. Bringing politics to the detriment of our own people is uncharitable. This is rather unfortunate and should not be,” he said.
He wondered why the state government would prevent him from commissioning the project despite the fact that he wrote to the Head Teacher and the Zonal Education Officer, informing them of his intention to inaugurate the new blocks of classroom.
He recalled that similar development happened some months back at a school at Ipara-Remo, in Remo North Local Government Area of the state.
The state Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr Segun Odubela, when contacted, said his office was duly informed about the programme by the school headmistress, but he said since the pupils would still be writing their the last subject in their promotion examination, the event should be postponed.
He said: “I was informed by the headmistress about the inauguration of the blocks of classroom, but the pupils in that school are still sitting for their third term examination, and beating of drums would distract them. That is why I said it should be postponed.”
Senator Kaka said he was told last Saturday that he could not perform the inauguration, because the pupils would be concluding their third term examination that Monday.
He said, “But to my surprise on Saturday, they sent a letter to my office saying that they have directives from the Ministry of Education that we should postpone the handing over indefinitely.”
The letter dated 11th July,written by the headmistress, one Mrs A.O. Baruwa reads in part: Reference to your letter dated 8th July 2014, that the three classrooms built in the above named school, will be commissioned on Monday 14th July, by 1.00pm. The letter has been forwarded to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Abeokuta and they said the commissioning should be postponed for these reasons: The third term examination and approval letter has not been collected from the ministry of education.”
Kaka lamented the ugly development despite serving necessary government bodies almost a week notification prior to the programme.
“We would have made it early in the morning but they said the school examination have spilled over till today, we decided to make it in the afternoon.
“From the timetable that we saw before we fixed the date, the examination ought to have finished last Friday but for reason best known to them, either logistics or deliberate act, they said it has spilled over till Monday”.
Kaka added, “So we respected them and waited until 2 o’clock when they have vacated. And you will see that we didn’t compel the pupils nor the teachers to stay behind to witness whatever we are doing.
“By the grace of God, we wrote to the head teacher, zonal education officer. But to my surprise, only on Saturday, they sent a letter to my office saying that they have directives from the Ministry of Education that we should postpone the handing over indefinitely. You can see the contradiction in the copy of the letter written but that is not the main thing because they are used to it. It is not the first time”, he lamented.
16.Jul.2014 || TRIBUNE Newspaper, by: Olayinka Olukoya – Abeokuta