Oyo State Governor, ‘Seyi Makinde Saturday declared that Old Students Associations must support the government’s efforts in lifting the standards of education by giving back to their alma maters.
In a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Taiwo Adisa, the governor said the education sector must not be left in the hands of the government alone, adding that by providing support and assistance to their former schools, the standards would be lifted.
Makinde, who made the call while speaking at the commissioning/handing over ceremony of the Oluwarotimi Akeredolu Hall, built by the 1968/1972 set of Loyola College Old Boys Association, said that his administration would be willing to consider a proposal for a return of the schools to its original owners if it receives one.
The Old Boys Association also remolded the frontal fence of Loyola College, Ibadan as part of activities to mark its 50 years of graduation.
The governor stated further that the motive behind his readiness to discuss the proof of consent, which could see the school handed over to its original owners or the Old Students Association was premised on the need to ensure continuous development of the school.
He maintained that his administration rested on four cardinal pillars, one of which he said is education.
The governor appreciated the 1968/1972 Set of the school for the construction of Hall and remoldelling of the frontal fence of the school, adding that such a gesture would go a long way in the development of the educational sector in the state.
He said: “It is a great honour for me to host my two other brothers ( Governors Rotimi Akeredolu and Kayode Fayemi) here, and when we say Oyo State is a Pacesetter State, now you know what we are talking about. Three governors here, out of 36 in Nigeria, had their roots and were molded here in Oyo State.”
The governor added: “So let me thank the 1968-1972 set for this edifice.
“By the way, education is one of the four major pillars of Oyo State and I know that the government alone cannot provide everything that we require, and every time that we can see people, associations, and philanthropists that can support the government, I am always very thankful. So, today, on behalf of the government and people of Oyo State, we want to say thank you to Loyola College Old Boys Association, ’68-72 set.
“And I am using this to also call on others to come and give back. We have the students out here, they are also looking at a day like this, when they would come back and give back to their school and they can only do that if we provide the enabling environment for them to succeed, and this is exactly what this set has done.
“So, I am using you as a point of contact to other Old Students Association to please come and give back and the government would duly appreciate you.
“Well, I mentioned that at every turning point, Loyola College seems to always show up. Now that I am running for a second term, Loyola has also shown up. I didn’t know I was going to be ambushed when I was coming for this event but when Professor Femi Ogunbiyi was talking, he said Governor please “e da a pada.(Please return the school)
“Well, I came with the Honorable Commissioner for Education and the Chairman of TESCOM. We started a proof of consent with Government College Ibadan to see what the process would look like and to also test the waters. This is because, as you are saying that the government should please return this school to the original owners, some other interests are saying we should not return the school to the original owners because the Oyo State government has invested in the school.
“But what we are doing at Government College has demonstrated to us that there is a path for engagement and I will encourage the old students and the Commissioner for Education to start that engagement process.