Ondo State Government has lamented the low enrollment of pupils into public primary schools in preference to private schools in the State.
The Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board, (SUBEB) Hon Victor Olabimtan who was on an assessment tour of schools expressed disappointment with school enrollment in public schools in the State.
Consequently, Olabimtan charged public primary school administrators to employ marketing strategies as a means of increasing pupil enrollments as schools resume new academic sessions.
Olabimtan who was not too impressed with the turnout of pupils within the first three days of resumption in most visited for the new session, charged the Head Teachers, their Assistants, and Teachers alike to go out and embark on constant enrollment drive in their neighbourhoods like their private schools counterparts.
According to him, there is no reason for any public primary schools to be dwindling in terms of pupil enrollment while that of private schools is on the increase considering the enormous Federal and State Government’s investment in the development of the basic education sector.
Olabimtan reasoned that some of the factors responsible for low patronages of public primary schools in the State are not far-fetched including non dedication to duties on the part of teachers.
He said this needs to be curbed by aggressive supervision on the part of officers at headquarters and Local Government Education Authorities.
The Chairman who took time to go through the statutory records such as Register, Log Books, and Time Books in each of the School visits lectured the Head Teachers and Teachers on the importance of school records, regularity, punctuality, and a clean environment for effective teaching and learning urged them to embark on marketing strategies to attract more pupils to their schools.
Olabimtan said the government’s investments in public schools can only be seen through a drastic reduction in the number of out-of-school children and an increase in school enrollment in public primary schools which are tuition-free and better equipped in terms of qualified teachers and good facilities.
He said that in the last six years, the State Government under Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeeredolu had expended over N22 billion in the renovations, reconstructions and constructions of not less than 900 School buildings, fencing, provisions of bole holes, chairs and lockers, Computer Laboratories and distributions of free instructional materials to Pupils to mention but a few.
The former Speaker House of Assembly said that with these improved facilities coupled with the provisions of playgroups, ECCED facilities and sporting equipment put in place by the government in all the public primary schools across the State, there is no reason parents and guardians should not enroll their wards in public schools that are tuition-free.
Before the commencement of the new academic session, Olabimtan held a strategic meeting with the Management Staff of the Board, Education Secretaries from all the eighteen Local Government Areas of the State and the Education Officers on how to improve performance through daily monitoring and supervision of schools in the new session.
He enjoined the Education Secretaries who he described as the Chief Executive of their LGEAs to be on top of their games in order to ensure that the essence of their appointments as the Ambassadors of the Board at the various Local Government Areas is not defeated.