The Oyo state government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government College Ibadan Old Boys Association (GCIOBA), for the transfer of the management, operation and development of the school, to the association.
The agreement followed the association’s request to manage the school in order to sustain its legacy. The agreement grants the old students the authority to manage the college for a period of 25 years.
Consequently, the association will be responsible for the provision of additional infrastructure, improvement of existing ones, provision of security with the assistance of the state government as well as employment and payment of competent staff, even as students will not be made to pay tuition.
GCIOBA is expected to provide modern teaching aids that will enhance the standard of education and sustain the free education policy of the ‘Seyi Makinde administration, by not charging tuition fees – except for boarding and feeding, in cases of students who reside on the school premises.
At the signing of the agreement, which was witnessed by the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Olubamiwo Adeosun; the Commissioner for Education, Abdulrahman Abdulraheem and the Incorporated Trustees of GCIOBA led by the President of the Association, Dr Wale Babalakin, the state government said it handed over the administration of the school to the old boys after realising that the state would need over N40 billion, to even bring the education sector to meet minimum standards.
Meanwhile, the SSG, Mrs Olubamiwo Adeosun has said that a study conducted by the Makinde government upon assumption of office in 2019, indicated that the state government needed over N40 billion to take the education sector to minimum standards, adding that it was clear from the beginning that the state could not do it alone.
“If you have been following Oyo state when this administration came on board, we had four cardinal points and education is one of them. So, education is very key to us. And I think when the first assessment was done, what was needed to even bring our educational sector up to the basics was over N40 billion.
“We were very clear from the beginning that we would not do this alone.
“Also, when we looked at the various bodies that could assist us in making us realise our objectives, the Old Boys Association was one of them”, she stated.
She therefore expressed the hope that GCIOBA would bring the school to a standard that other schools would follow, adding that the agreement was a pilot scheme that the state hoped would bring the best to its education sector.
In the meantime, in the agreement GCIOBA signed with the state government, it is expected to within two years of the execution of the agreement, provide evidence of new infrastructure either completed or ongoing; undertake continuous and regular maintenance of existing infrastructure and undertake the training and capacity building for the teaching staff.
On his part, the president of GCIOBA, Dr Babalakin, said the trustees comprising of nominees from the state government, GCIOBA and the parent-teacher association, were happy to pull through the agreement, promising that the old students would bring about a massive transformation of the school, such that it would be the envy of other schools in the country.
With the MOU signed with the Oyo state government, the task before GCIOBA is well cut out. The association has also agreed to key into the free education policy of the ‘Seyi Makinde administration and not charge students tuition fees.
In showing commitment to developing the infrastructure of the school, the Vice President of the Association, Tola Obembe said the old boys had expended over N2 billion on the affairs of the school.
Meanwhile, a former Attorney-General of Oyo State and a critic of the Makinde government, Adebayo Ojo, has in a Facebook post commended the decision of the state government to hand over GCI to its old boys, adding that the move was the way to go in view of the dwindling government revenue.