“Fund Education Effectively,” Take It Back Tells Oyo State Government, Declares Support For Ongoing Strike

Take It Back Movement, Oyo State Chapter, has accused the Oyo state government of using the Oyo State College of Education, Lanlate to play politics, while calling for a genuine revamping of the college, stating that it was not enough for the state government to claim ownership of the institution if appropriate funding would not be provided.

The group declared its support for the ongoing strike action embarked upon by the Joint Action Committee of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics in the state which include Emmanuel Alayande College of Education, Oyo; Oyo State College of Education, Lanlate; and Adeseun Ogundoyin Polytechnic, Eruwa.

In a statement, dated February 4, 2022 and titled “Take It Back Movement (Oyo State)”, the group decried the infrastructural challenges and the state’s government negligent of staff and students of the institution, and disclosed that the TakeitBack Movement is ready to do everything possible in order to save the institution from its infrastructure challenges and imminent collapse.

The statement, signed by the Assistant Secretary, Gbenga Oloniniran and the Coordinator, Solomon Emiola, reads:

“The Take It Back Movement Oyo state uses this medium to react to the deteriorating state of the Oyo State College of Education, Lanlate. We commiserate with the staff and students of the institution who have been subjected to such untold hardship for long but have found the courage to make their demands public.

“In a letter to the Oyo State House of Assembly, the Joint Action Committee of the three trade unions highlighted a very pitiable state of the college. From nonpayment of backlog of arrears to the workers, to lack of take-off funds for the college, lack of toilet facilities and poor roads leading to the institution, we cannot but sympathize with the college community on the hardship being suffered by the staff and students of the institution.

“For us in the TIB, we cannot disconnect the issues faced by the college from other issues faced by many public schools in the state and in Nigeria. The commercialisation of public education has rendered many public tertiary, secondary and basic schools unworthy. We condemn this negligence of government on public education where future leaders are made.

“We must put it clear that it is not enough pronounce an institution autonomous, change its name or claim state ownership, without the adequate funding of the schools.

“We can see this trend also in the Seyi Makinde regime where institutions like the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) in Ogbomoso have been claimed fully by the Oyo State government.

“Meanwhile, the institution is still neither independent of underfunding nor of exorbitant fees being paid by the students. We recall that in the latter months of 2021, students of Lautech embarked on protest against the idea of “No tuition no exam” policy of the university management.

“This, regardless of the acclaimed paltry 25 percent reduction in their fees by the Seyi Makinde government, shows how insignificant such cosmetic reduction is to the economic realities confronting the people.

“We, therefore, condemn the attempts of the Oyo state government to continually use public education to play politics. We call for a genuine revamping of the Oyo State college of education, Lanlate and its environs.

“We call for an effective funding of LAUTECH to relieve the labouring parents and students. We believe that an emergency disbursement is due for the school and for many other public institutions suffering from deterioration in the state.

“The Take It Back Movement is ready to support the struggles of the Oyo state college, Lanlate, as well as of every worker and student centered agitation to save public education in the state.”

Since the college became an autonomous institution in 2016, it has been battling with series of challenges, as well as the non-accreditation of courses which have necessitated the statement.