The Oyo State government has said that about 1.5 million of the out-of-school children that have been absorbed into various public schools under the 2017 to 2022 Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA), would be mopped up and brought back to the classrooms under the BESDA-Additional Funding (AF)-Transforming Education System at state level (TESS) programme. The BESDA-AF-TESS project is aimed at reducing out-of-school students through physical infrastructural projects and training of teachers for improved teaching practices and learning outcomes.
Adeniyi Olusanjo, permanent secretary, Oyo State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, who disclosed this at a two-day training programme for School-Based Management Committee (SBMC) on Community-Driven Development Approach at Lagelu Grammar School hall in Ibadan, said the programme was targeting mopping up the remaining 1.5 million out-of-school students after those that have been successfully returned to classrooms under the BESDA within 2017 and 2022.
He added that the state enjoyed the privilege of been selected by the federal government and donor agencies like the World Bank and GPE because of the success achieved by the state under the BESDA programme, adding that the 1.5 million figure covered students from far and neighboring states and countries that have come to Oyo State to to enjoy the state’s free education policy.
“Having noticed the success of BESDA within 2017 to 2022 in Oyo State, the World Bank, the federal government and GPE decided to pick Oyo State, Adamawa State and Katsina State for the new project, which is to deliver the needed equitable access to out-of-school children in Oyo State,” he said. Bamidele Odekunle, state coordinator, BESDA-AF-TESS, said the role of the School-Based Management Committee was very germane to the success of the new project.
He revealed that the training, overseen by the Oyo State Community and Social Development Agency (OYCSDA), was to prepare the representatives of the benefiting SBMCs for the work ahead, urging participants to note all the aspects of the training so as to have a seamless implementation. Members of the School-Based Management Committee (SBMC) include school heads, representatives of teachers, males and females representatives of pupils, males and females representatives of traditional leaders, old pupils and students, Parents, Teachers Association (PTA) representatives, youths representatives, artisans, community-based organisations, community representatives and faith-based organisations.