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Group warns Gov. Makinde against handover of GCI

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A section of the Parents, Teachers Association (P. T. A) of the Government College, Ibadan (GCI), has warned the Oyo State government against the plan to hand over the institution to the old students association.

Recall that Seyi Makinde, the executive governor of Oyo State had recently disclosed that the state has concluded arrangements to hand over the secondary school to the Government College Ibadan Old Boys’ Association (GCIOBA), led by Wale Babalakin.

In view of that, the parents petitioned the government of Makinde stating that such action could spring up an unimaginable crisis.

In a letter signed by Adeniji Adeniyi, the P.T.A. chairman of the Senior School, Owosibo Olusegun, the P.T.A. chairman of the Junior School, and Adebamiji Olatunde, the P.T.A. Chairman of the Junior School 2 respectively, the parents advised relevant organs of the state government to pay special attention to the activities of GCIOBA.

“We, parents, find this action as nothing but a betrayal of trust between the government and the masses of the state, especially in the education sector as clearly stated in the inaugural address by your Excellency during the swearing-in-ceremony at Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, Ibadan on May 29, 2019.

“The college that ought to serve the community is now to serve the selected few and the government is indirectly ceding the heritage of the state to the selected few.

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“The people behind the college takeover are after the resources in the school, most especially, the landmass and the staff quarters scattered within the college environment for their own selfish interest.

“The planned handover and takeover of the college using the strategy of the platform of old students claiming to be non-profit while operating as a profit-making organization without adopting necessary financial controls of extant financial laws and regulation of the State.

“The promise of complying with the free education policy of the Oyo State government is the bait and it does not reduce the likelihood that they will not engage in predatory behaviour that harms the student, the school, the community, and the people of Oyo State in general. A takeover of a public asset without following the complete due process has characteristics that are cause for concern.

“Privatisation of public schools in the state may spring up unprecedented crisis in the state, as we heard on good authority that some members of the public, especially the communities who donated its land to the government for public use are against the takeover of public schools by for-profit executives or associations and which may adversely affect this government thereby eroding all the gains and achievements achieved by this government in the last three years.

“We want the relevant agencies to beam their searchlight on the activities of the old boys at Government College Ibadan. The Oyo State board of internal revenue to look into the affairs of the profit-making hall erected on government landed property without any returns to the state government, in terms of taxes or revenue,” the letter read in part.

The parents in the letter, also made available to some government functionaries such as the commissioner for education, science and technology, commissioner for lands, housing and urban development, and other relevant stakeholders cautioned that privatisation of public schools in the state may spring up an unprecedented crisis.

They alleged that the old students are planning to use the landmass and the staff quarters scattered within the college environment for their own selfish reasons.