Criticism Trails No Kaadi Igbeayo, No School Resumption Order

Ondo state commissioner for Information, Kayode Akinmade

Ondo state commissioner for Information, Kayode Akinmade

SHOCK, anger and disappointment could best describe the mood of parents of students barred from schools in Ondo State, as schools in the state opened for new academic session penultimate Monday.

The order was as a result of the commencement of the usage of the state’s data collation initiative, the smart card, otherwise known as Kaadi Igbeayo in schools in the state.

The Guardian learnt that the step is part of strategies to ensure that residents comply with government’s directive to obtain the residency card. Based on government’s order to schools to receive photocopies of parents’ cards from pupils as requirement for admission, hundred of pupils were seen returning home after being sent away by school authorities.

The state commissioner for Information, Kayode Akinmade, said a meeting was held with members of the State Chapter of the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) on the relevance of the cards in the task of revamping the education sector in the state, followed up by a sensitisation and enlightenment programme on the relevance of the card, which is in fulfillment of the governor’s promise during his inauguration in 2009.

He mentioned that although several governments have deployed smart card technology for specific purposes, but to date, there has been no successful multipurpose smart card like the cards.

While enumerating its importance, he said it serves as an interface in all transactions between the government and residents, that it would allow all residents equal access to government’s social and welfare services, allow government to monitor the distribution of such services even in the remotest parts of the state among others.

After the official launch of the card in July, the people of the stated had thought it would be restricted to the health sector, mainly for pregnant women, till a circular was sent to all schools that it is a condition for resumption and admission.

Since the school resumption, the move has led to a frenzied drive from parents, who queued hours on end at computer centres in a bid to make photocopies, while those who though of it as another elephant project by Governor Segun Mimiko, rushed to the state Civic Data Centre (CDC) to apply for the cards.

A parent, Adegoke Ayemoluwa decried the card and the sudden importance attached to it in relations with the pupils, emphasising that it is a thoughtless move to strip the young ones of their rights to education, as enshrined in the Constitution of the country.

People from armed robbery infested zones-Ikare, Owo and their environs in the north senatorial district of the state, that made many of the banks to evacuate the area, said the latest development was unfair to them.

They were confused why the card would be linked with the admission and resumption of their wards back to school, and appealed to Mimiko to repeal the condition.

This card doesn’t have the much overblown features they told the whole world it has. Even in the health sector, which is the pioneer test ground, how many machines are on ground for its technical use,” Odidiomo Taiwo, a man who spoke with The Guardian from Ilaje Local Government Area, queried. He pointed out that the card is a ploy to swindle the hapless masses.

His submission was in tandem with a woman identified as Iya Alagbo, a local herbs vendor in Akure, who rushed into a computer centre to photocopy her residency card for her son in JSS two at Oyemekun Grammar School, Akure.

She explained how tedious the procurement of the brand new residency card in her hands was: herculean and expensive to also procure a befitting case for the photocopied piece, which must be hung around the neck before they would be granted access to the school compound.

Most of the parents who spoke with The Guardian condemned the decision of the state government, saying students should not be subjected to conditions before they are allowed to get quality education, which they argued is their right by birth.
“How would pupils be responsible for their parents’ failure to register? What is the relationship between Kaadi Igbeayo and our pupils’ future? Let the governor tell us,” they retorted.
Meanwhile, a lawyer, Morakinyo Ogele has dragged the state to court preventing it from going ahead with the move.

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