The Oyo State Government has appealed to the leadership of a church that shares boundary with St. Paul’s Primary School, Odo ona, Ibadan to consider the future of pupils, and stop leasing the school’s open land as burial sites.
Recall that, the Oyo state government in September 2023 issued a directive against the erection of structures on open spaces within schools in the state, describing it as illegal.
The disclosure was made today by the Executive Chairman, Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board, Dr. Nureni Aderemi Adeniran during a monitoring exercise of resumption in the State.
The Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board dispatched teams across basic schools to monitor the resumption of students for the second term.
At the school, located in Odo-ona, Ibadan, the Chairman and his team noted that the church, apart from encroaching on the available space, built graves close to classrooms.
Adeniran said that, beyond the space left for the school, the presence of the cemetery in a school premises is an issue the Board cannot live with.
“It was gathered that the church that shares land space with the school just started encroaching on the school space, leasing the available land as a burial ground”, he said.
“Hence, it is unfair that the siting of the school and its pupils did not matter to the church, making the school and the burial site share a very close boundary”.
“In one of the classrooms, a look through the window by the pupils would mean a look into the world of the dead because of the close proximity”, Adeniran lamented.
Adeniran continued, “For a school that has a functional cemetery as its neighbour, that means witnessing burial rites has become a part of the learning process for the pupils”.
Dr. Adeniran therefore instructed the Education Secretary, Ibadan South-West, Mrs. Morenike Adeniran and other Local Government Universal Basic Education Authority staff members to meet with the Vicar of the church.
While monitoring other schools within the Ibadan metropolis, Dr. Adeniran explained that the Oyo state government has warned Headteachers against late resumption.
He however expressed satisfaction with the compliance of teachers in schools monitored, appealing to parents to release their children, as school activities have begun.
Speaking earlier at St. Paul’s Primary school, a Community leader, Rev. Julius Oguns said the land title bears the name of the school and not the church.
He appealed to the Oyo State Government to wade into the matter, as pupils are being exposed to unwholesome views of the cemetery in a learning environment.
Schools monitored were, St. Paul’s Primary School, Gada-Apata, Odo ona, Ibadan; Christ the King Catholic School, Odo ona; Community Model Basic School, Elewura.
Others are St. John School 1& 2, Aremo; Methodist Basic School I&II, Agodi, Ibadan among others.