In a renewed attempt to improve the standard of education, no fewer than eight secondary students in Oyo State have been arrested by the state government for truancy.
The state government in a total clampdown on truancy across the state on Tuesday had raided some selected secondary schools in the metropolis.
An enforcement team led by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Community Relations, Alhaji Abidemi Siyanbade arrested the students in the state capital.
The students who were caught in different places while roaming the streets during school hours were later taken to the Oyo State Social Development Centre, Samonda for counselling.
Among those arrested were four students of Methodist Grammar School, Bodija; Bishop Onabanjo Memorial Grammar School, Bodija and St Luke Grammar School, Molete.
Siyanbade said the parents and principals of the arrested students would have to come for them at the Social Development Centre in Samonda, where they undergoing counselling.
He told newsmen that the team acted on the directive of the state governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, who had ordered a total clampdown on truancy in the state.
Siyanbade stated that the state government frowned totally at students roaming the street during school hours, saying he exercise would be regular.
“Just last June, the state government came up with an initiative targeted at repositioning the education sector of the state.
“This initiative evolved the newly inaugurated School Governing Board (SGB) across the 628 secondary schools in state.
“Imagine the students being tagged ‘Olu-Igbo’ because they are always in the bush when others are in class.’
“You can see that the communities support the efforts of the government and I can assure them that we will achieve greater successes from the exercise,” he said.
The governor’s aide said that the newly inaugurated SGB and other reforms in the education sector could achieve the desired success with the support of parents and teachers in the schools.
Similarly, a Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the governor on Community Relations, Mrs Adekemi Opatunde, told newsmen that the exercise was to oversee the welfare of the students.
Opatunde called on all stakeholders to join hands with the state government in eradicating truancy in schools across the state.
“It is painful to see students roaming the street when they are suppose to be in school. I am sure we have made a point with this exercise,” she said.
She urged teachers to desist from the habit of sending students on errand when they are suppose to be in class.
Some residents of the metropolis who spoke to newsmen commended the government for the effort, pledging to give the state government the necessary support.
Mrs. Elizabeth Onakomaiya, a trader told newsmen that it had been the usual practice of the students to roam the streets during school hours.
Onakomaiya said that the students have become miscreants, saying they disrupt the peace of the environment through the use of dangerous weapons.
Also, Mr Mufutau Ayanfe, a businessman commended the state government for the effort, saying that such effort must be intensified and supported by all.
However, some residents of Osungbade and Molete areas of the metropolis have called on government to intensify its effort on truancy and wayward attitudes of the students.
Listed among the schools noted for notoriety are Community Grammar School, Osungbade; Ibadan Grammar School; St Luke Grammar School and hosts of others located around Molete area of Ibadan.
Residents of the area alleged that the students from the mentioned schools terrorizes the area, accusing them of rape, street fight and smoking of hemp.