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The Parents Teachers Association of the Government College Ibadan has petitioned the Oyo State Government over the transfer of the school to the Wale Babalakin-led Old Boys Association.
The parents demanded an immediate reversal of the policy.
The parents described the move as a betrayal of trust between the government and the masses of the state.
The letter was signed by Prince Adeniji Adeniyi, the P.T.A. Chairman for the Senior School; Owosibo Olusegun, PTA Chairman for Junior School 1 and Adebamiji Olatunde, P.T.A. Chairman for Junior School 2.
According to them, the school will now serve only a selected few as it alleged that those behind the College takeover are after the school’s resources for their own selfish interest.
The association noted, “The handing over of Government College, Ibadan to the Government College, Ibadan Old Boys’ Association (GCIOBA) has come to the attention of GCI Parents Forum as widely reported in different dailies with particular reference to the headline in The Guardian Newspaper of Wednesday, March 23rd 2022, capturing ‘Oyo Set to Hand over Government College to Old Boys Association’.
“This has raised a lot of concerns and questions in the interest of the public, the GCI community, Apata Community, Ibadan People and the good people of Oyo State, with the request to consider the concerns of the parents and other stake holders on the matter.
“It is instructive to note and state here that: 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.
“The people behind the College take over are after the resources in the school, most especially, the land mass and the staff quarters scattered within the College environment for their own selfish interests.
“The Government College Ibadan Old Boys’ Association (GCIOBA) under the Trustee Incorporated that is taking over the College has members in School Governing Board (SGB).
“One of them is even the Chairman of the Board. If not for the ulterior motives, why can’t the GCIOBA support the College through this avenue instead of complete takeover?
“During the last School Governing Board meeting held in the GCI conference room on Monday April 4th 2022, the Chairman of the board, Engr. Femi Babalola who coincidentally is an Old Boy, reported that he was directed by the President GCIOBA, Dr. Wale Babalakin, to brief the board on the handing over matter.
“The PTA chairmen present at the meeting requested for the MOU signed with the Government for us to see the details inside the document. To our surprise, the request was declined by the Chairman but we were rather referred to the Government of Oyo State for the details of the MOU.
“With this reaction, the PTA as a body saw this as a ploy to hide certain things from the public which calls for greater concern.
“It is on record that Government College Ibadan Old Boys’ Association (GCIOBA) has a big hall that generates money for them periodically. The hall has generated almost N2,000,000 between the month of January and March this year.
“Sadly enough, the school authorities are made to pay for the services of this hall for programmes like Valedictory service and the likes. Over the years, money generated from this enterprise is kept solely with the association and nothing goes to the government as a form of tax or revenue.
“It is believed that the same mindset is going to be replicated in the running of the College, thereby, the public will be shortchanged. Also, the College is to be run as an elitist school as the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) claims that Government College, Ibadan will be for the GIFTED thereby creating inequality and discrimination in our educational system.
“The original intent and purpose of making the College a Ministry of Education controlled school have been defeated. Government College, Ibadan serves as a learning ground and a training school for the Education Officers who will in turn become Inspectors of Education and Policy Makers in the nearest future.
“There is no law in Oyo state that empowers the Governor to give a public school out to the old students and as a matter of fact it is unlawful for the Governor to unilaterally cede the school that was established by extant education laws in Oyo state to an organization unknown to law in Oyo state.
“The handover of the College to some for-profit executives/associations is a comedy of errors. But why don’t they (the profit making organisation) organise one from scratch? Besides, the structure of Governing Board proposed in the Agreement is not different from the structure of Governing Board in operation in all the Public Secondary Schools across Oyo State.
“Having considered the above factors, this is our humble prayer. PRAYER: 1. We want Government College Ibadan to stay public 2. We want the relevant agencies to beam their searchlight on the activities of the Old boys at Government College Ibadan. i. 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. ii. The Auditor General to look into the acclaimed Balanced Sheet of the association on how they generate funds and how the billions of naira spent over the years are sourced.
“3. The Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, the Office of the Surveyor General and the Office of the Auditor General to document and evaluate all the assets of Government College Ibadan and differentiate it from the assets of the Association. 4. The Government should ensure that no asset of Government College Ibadan is used to obtain loan or used as collateral in whatever circumstances.
“5. Government to call for stakeholder’s meeting to address the educational situation in the State in order to find a lasting solution to the inadequate funding and save the State from opportunists.”