By Ibukun Emiola
Mr Lekan Abioye, National President, Methodist High School Ibadan Old Boys’ Association (MHSIOBA), has identified corruption as the bane of development of public education in Nigeria.
Abioye, who stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan on Sunday, said this was evident in the number of decayed infrastructure and deficiency in human capital development.
According to him, most public schools in the country are in shambles.
“Although various governments own these schools, however, because of the downturn in the economy and corruption, they can’t do much; whereas education requires adequate funding for it to transform minds and shape the future of the country.
“There is a high level of corruption, whereby people are no longer accountable to the resources put in their care.
“This has affected how education is managed and its outcome in the country.
“Public schools are no longer being managed properly, because of high level of corruption; you don’t even have people you can trust, especially when money is involved,” he said.
Speaking on the Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) initiative, the newly-elected president of the association, who is a marketing/branding consultant, said government should dialogue with stakeholders to make it a success.
“Government should dialogue, through a forum, with stakeholders who can then own and drive the initiative.
“Collaboration with relevant educational groups will make the initiative achieve its purpose and make it sustainable,” he said.
Abioye, however, urged state governments with no capacity to run public schools to give such schools back to their original owners.
Many of these original owners, he said, had been waiting to reclaim their schools.
According to him, the owners, including old students’ associations, are readily available to provide the needed infrastructure and qualitative education for the nation’s teeming youth, including training and retraining of teachers. for better outputs.
The president of the association, who is also the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Richbrands Group, Lagos, did not, however, rule out the role of old students’ associations in revamping educational standards.
These associations, he said, should be willing to collaborate with government and the private sector to jointly resuscitate the ailing educational system.
“For instance, under my watch, the MHSIOBA is ready to harness the potentials of stakeholders to reposition the school.
“This is not what I left behind in the school over 30 years ago. Presently, the school lacks infrastructure and the students are so scanty, leaving the classrooms almost empty.
“Even the teachers are not encouraged because the classrooms are scanty,” he said.
Abioye said he was ready to partner with government to increase school enrollment and reduce the number of dropouts as well as mop-up out-of-school-children in the state.