Private Schools: Applause for private schools
-By Wilson Adekumola
The Education Secretary, Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government, Lagos State, Honourable Adeyemi Olalekan Jongbo has noted that private schools in Lagos have done a lot to develop education in the state by helping to de-congest public schools and provide employment for many people.
Jongbo, who was reputed to be the best Education Secretary in Lagos State, made this observation during the presentation ceremony of Eko Academics Excellence Award held on April 5 at Excellence Hotel, Ogba, Lagos. The award was designed to honour individuals and institutions who have contributed to the growth of education in Lagos State.
While declaring that the only way government can encourage private schools is to reduce the levies imposed on them, he observed that both private and public schools now have cordial relationship.
“Government cannot do it alone. That is why government should encourage private school owners by reducing the taxes, levies and other charges. The private schools have fantastically contributed to the growth of education in Lagos State and in the country at large.
“They deserved to be encouraged. Government can also help make their environment more conducive for learning. Government should not say because they are making profit so they must pay heavily. They should look into their area of contribution.
“Unlike in the past, my regime has successfully introduced public-private school competition which has fostered unity between the two sectors. We have always invited the private school owners to discuss the way forward in education and this has really helped us.
“We have made progress on how to make education better and meaningful in Lagos State. As a custodian of education, we do things in common. In terms of security we also joined hands together. We have invited them to a public function just to improve on our cordial relationship. In fact our relationship cannot be overemphasized.
In his speech, the proprietor, Elias International Schools, who was also the chairman of the day, Dr. Eng. Elijah Oluyemi Dosunmu, thanked the convener and charged the awardees to put more effort in contributing to the growth of education in Lagos State.
He said, “Today I am highly humbled and honoured to be a recipient of this year’s Eko Academics Excellence Award and I believe same goes to all the awardees present because this shows that someone, somewhere, observe, recognize and appreciate good efforts made by others to enhance and uplift their fellow human beings”.
“We gather here, not to bear witness to history or give testimonies that these Awardees here are great achievers. We are here to tell each of us no matter how we are celebrated that our success is not yet complete until education becomes affordable for all.”
Dosunmu declared that much is expected from whom much is given. He then promised to leave no stone unturned in making education better anywhere he finds himself adding that he will continue to support private participation.
“Having been recognized by the organizers and selection team of this Eko Academics Excellence Award, it has further strengthened me and given me the determination to keep on putting in my best to make positive changes wherever I find myself. That is why I will keep supporting private public partnership in education”.
The Ogun-born octogenarian then urged all the participants to hope in God in discharging their service to humanity. He said, “No organization succeeds without recognizing and living in accordance to the will of God, hence keeping our hope alive will help us get the best out from what the future holds. Our service to humanity in the education sector in regard to private and public participation will not be in vain.”
In his remark, The Chairman, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Alimosho Branch, Comrade Ogunwomoju Tawwab Olusesan told the participants that the achievements of the union in the recent past is due to the change they have made in their approach. He said, “I want to let you know that the era of “I no go gree” has passed. Not that we don’t say “we no go gree” but we do it at the roundtable.
We are now in digital world so we have gone digital in our approach and it has helped us to achieve our aims and objectives. We have been able to put an end to promotion exams in Lagos State. The issue of our leave allowance being paid with our salary during the regime of former Lagos State Governor, Mr Raji Babatunde Fashola is now cancelled in Governor Akinwumi Ambode regime among others. We have recorded great achievement and we will stop at nothing in fighting for our welfare.”.
The convener and sponsor of the event, Omoba Omobola Ogungbile is the CEO of GB Communication Ltd. He showered praises on Lagos State Government for her effort in making education better and for how it has over the years encouraged private participation noting however that it could still do more.
“Today our organization deems it fit to recognize, appreciate and honour the selfless, resilient and outstanding individuals in their effort at improving the academic standard in Lagos State. As against the old notion that teachers reward is heaven, it is instructive to note here also the effort of Lagos State Government in improving education through various policies and programmes as well as intervention to make public school compete favourably with their counterparts in private and overseas schools. Such effort includes facilities like “Eko Project”, massive renovation of schools, provision of educational facilities, employment of teaching staff to mention but a few.
The event which lasted for about three hours witnessed the presence of some dignitaries across the State from both the private and public sectors. These included; Mrs. Showemimo, The Principal, Shaha Junior High School, Lagos, Hon. Airat Mojirade Alamu, Education Secretary, Alimosho Local Government, Mrs. Esther Olusola Aliu, Proprietress, Front liners Schools, Chief Imam Abdul Wahab Al-Mustapha Abubakar, the Proprietor, Al-Mustapha Islamic Foundation Schools and Mrs. Oluwatoyin Olubumi Odedeyi, the Chairperson, Association of Head Teachers of Public Primary Schools of Nigeria, Ifako-Ijaiye Branch among others.