The Irese Community in Ifedore Local Government Area of Ondo State has appealed to the state government to, as a matter of urgency, take over the running of the only Secondary School in the area to check the growing rate of dropouts and unwanted vices among youths of the area.
A Community Leader, Mr. Kola Olupona made the appeal on behalf of the Regent of Irese, Princess Damilola Falegan, Chiefs and other leaders of the town.
Irese is less than five kilometers from the popular Onyearugbulem Market Junction at the Federal Housing Estate popularly called Shagari Village in Akure, the state capital.
In the Letter of Appeal sent to reporters on Monday, Olupona said the Irese Community Grammar School, was started in 2014 by a Christian religious group that observed with dismay the high rate of dropouts after Primary School because the nearest post-Primary school was some seven kilometers away in Akure thus forcing many of the youths to abandon schooling.
The development, he said, led to unwanted activities like high promiscuity among the girls, while the boys took to smoking weed, liquor addiction, unchecked sale of ancestral land, and stealing.
These vices were reduced to the barest minimum since the establishment of the secondary school since the youths no longer have to be idle and loafing around after leaving primary school.
He, however, expressed fears that the above gains might be lost unless the government takes over the running of the school as the community could no longer afford to run it using only Corps Members and volunteers.
The school started out on a makeshift block of an abandoned primary before moving to its permanent site following the donation of 16 plots of land by the community for the project.
Olupona disclosed further that visits to senior government officials by the former Regent, Princess Rabiat Adeniyi and other leaders have yielded the construction of a three-classroom block, which is currently the only building standing on the permanent site.
The Letter of Appeal stated inter alia, “It is not a thing of joy that a growing community like Irese which has become like a satellite community to the state capital city of Akure, has for several years remained without a secondary school. We were therefore happy when a religious body took the initiative of starting a secondary school for our youths.
“We have since taken over the administration of the school and have put in lots of resources to keep it afloat so as to keep the educational dreams of our children alive. But the financial burden of keeping the secondary school afloat since 2014 has become unbearable for our small community and we are afraid that we might go back to the unfortunate era of our youths smoking, drinking and engaging in immoral vices.
“We want the government to take over and post qualified and trained teachers there and generally improved on the administration of the place. So far, we have been using Corps Members and volunteers, which is not really the best thing to do.”