His Imperial Majesty, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja ll has said there was hope in public schools system if the right management was put in place
The highly celebrated and respected monarch also called on the government to return schools to their original owners in order to ensure efficient management of the institutions and improve on the quality of education in the country.
He said the sign that public schools, especially those established by missionaries, had lost their sparkle, was evident in the fact that none of those who graduated from those schools, wanted to send their children to those schools today.
The Ooni believed the present state of the schools that were taken over by government in the mid-1970s had shown that government lacked the financial capacity to manage the schools and offer quality education.
The call is coming at a time when the action by the Oyo State Government to involve private partnership in the management of 31 out of 631 public secondary schools in Oyo State, is generating crisis.
Oba Ogunwusi, who spoke during the inauguration of a N1bn Development Fund for his alma mater, Loyola College, Ibadan, in Ibadan on Sunday, lamented the falling standard of education in the South-West, but commended missionaries for establishing the schools.
Present at the event were the Catholic Archbishop of Ibadan Arch Diocese, Leke Abegunrin; political economist, Prof. Pat Utomi; Elejesi of Ijesi Ife, Oba Akintunde Awosule; Alayemore of Ido Osun, Oba Aderemi Adedapo, who accompanied Ooni on the visit; and other important dignitaries in education and other sectors.
Oba Ogunwusi stated, “I appreciate all the discipline that we received as pupils of Loyola College. God will continue to bless the likes of Ven. Godwin Daramola, our retired principal.
“I feel sad when I look at the school today and see its ruins. I visited the school shortly before I was enthroned as the Ooni. We should always strive to nurture our source; without the school, we will not be where we are today.
“I will be one of the happiest men in the world on the day the missionary schools are returned to their owners. Today, we cannot send our children to those schools because the values have disappeared. Let us bring back these schools and make them the best again so that once again, we can send our children back there.”
The Ooni of Ife also listed his numerous prizes for the school at the event.