By Toba Adedeji
As the billion naira project of Ilesa Government High School was commissioned, Ooni of Ife and Aromolaran have commended the revolution brought by Aregbesola led administration to education sector in Osun state.
These commendations were made by the frontline monarchs at the commissioning ceremony of what has been described as monumental in the history of education in Nigeria.
Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Owa Obokun Adinmula of Ijesaland, Oba Gabriel Aromolaran were among other dignitaries that graced the occasion.
Ooni who spoke passionately while addressing the audience at the ceremony said the huge investment of the administration would speak for decades particularly as it affects the generation yet unborn.
He said,” No matter how disdainful anyone is to this administration; if such person sees what is dedicated on these structure such person will doff his or her cap for the tenets and dedication employed on Osun education system.”
Oba Aromonlaran posited that many Universities in the Africa can’t match Ilesa Government High School in terms of facilities.
He expressed his appreciation to Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for painstakingly revamping education sector by making State of Osun to compete with developed world in infrastructure.
He said, “I am impressed with what is built in this community and I must confessed that the honour been given to me to commission this edifice as a landmark to my 80th birthday is so humbling.
In Aregbesola’s speech titled: “The Making of the Educated Person,” the Governor, said the state now has public schools that can compete favourably with the best in the world and are the ones to beat in the country.
Aregbesola said the provision of these new school buildings is in fulfilment of his administration’s promise to provide functional education to the children in the state.
He said, “All these are in fulfilment of our promise to provide functional basic education. This stems from our conviction that every child is owed basic education. It is a fundamental and inalienable right of every child. We have gone to this length and committed such huge amount on education because we are preparing for the future.
“This includes the capacity to observe, understand and make sense out of nature, creation and one’s environment in the most basic form. To write means also that one can graphically reproduce one’s thought, observations, ideas and received knowledge in clear, free flowing prose, in at least one language.
“We are therefore developing the new literate man, a man not just for himself but for the collective, who sees his own existence and value in light of other members of the society.
“We have seen the future. Before our very eyes, advances in science and technology are changing our world and in the foreseeable future, we will see that those who are not well educated will be onlookers and will have no place in it.
“Generally, the world is increasingly being defined and controlled by those who can think and bear their intellect on matter and any situation. The possibilities therefore look infinite for them.”
According to the Governor, the new schools are capable of training the new minds for the new world driven by technology, saying any society without this vision is going to be backward and dependent when this future arrives.
He noted that the 11 high schools, will each graduate 11,000 students every year and in the space of 10 years, they would have turned out 110,000 first set of students and in the next 50 years, it would be 550,000 world beaters, occupying strategic positions nationally and globally. This is our vision.
He made a clarion call to the parents and teacher to do all within their reach to sustain the love of education he has for education.
He said “As a government, we have played our own part very well and we will do more if the need should arise. It is now left for parents and teachers to do their own part. Parents should provide the right examples to their children at home.
“They should let them realise the importance of education and that there is no reliable future outside of it.
“They should therefore prepare their children for school at the right time, help them dress properly and acceptably and prevent them from truancy.”
Similarly, Aregbesola officially unveiled the Citizens Identification Initiative Cards called “Omoluabi Cards” to be distributed to citizens in the State.
Mr. Jayeoba Alagbada who is the Commissioner for Commerce, Cooperative and Empowerment in the state, spoke extensively on the card. He disclosed that the residency smart card initiative popularly known as “Kaadi Omoluabi” is an initiative that will further move government closer to the people.
He noted that the introduction and distribution of “Kaadi Omoluabi” would go a long way to assist the government in the collation of data of the residents for appropriate allocation of resources and implementation of pro-masses policies.
According to him, the Omoluabi Card will serve as a remarkable socio-economic drive as it will in no doubt provide government accurate information on the population of the people residing in the state as well as their needs.
He said about 230,322 from public elementary schools have been captured in the first phase which was completed in 2014 and the registration of students in middle and high school have commenced. He added that more than 409,664 adults had been enrolled, with their validation in progress.
He said, “This card will help to determine the population strength, population density within and outside a demographic composition with the aim of providing the required needs of the populace.
“I have confidence in the fact that the card initiative would further add values to the economy of the state as the socio-economic landscape of the state will be greatly impacted.”
Earlier in his welcome address, the Commissioner for Education, Mr. Wasiu Kolawole Omotunde-Young, described the commissioning of high school as another milestone in the efforts of the government to lay solid and enduring foundation for ‘Functional Education’ in the State.
He said government is proud to commission this newly built world class school, comparable to any of its peers from the best parts of the world.
“Promoting functional education is one of the six–Point Integral Action plans of Aregbesola’s pact with the people of the state of Osun. Government inherited an appalling Education System, which led to the conveyance of a state Education Summit in February 2011, which provided the Blueprint for repositioning the education sector in Osun.
“This school is the second of its specific types built with most modern prefabricated steel and cladding – after Osogbo Government High School – and the fifth of the world class schools to be commissioned,” Omotunde-Young said.
Omotunde-Young, while enumerating some of the facilities in the new school said the hall has storage for equipments, utility storage, a stage, office space, storage for documents, 4 female toilets and 4 male toilets.
“Sports is not left behind as the school can boast of an Olympic-sized football field, 7-lane sprinting tracks for 100 meters and 400 meters events, a pavilion and an outdoor basketball court that doubles as tennis court.
Also equipped with stand-alone transformer for electricity and a borehole, the school cost N1.3 billion, including the cost of furnishing, landscape and electronic boards.
Also, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Najeem Salam who led other legislators to the ceremony, said, “Some miserable opposition has been saying that we are rubber stamp legislator. I want to put it on record that if building multimillion projects for the society to use is what made us to be rubber stamp, we agreed to be one, if building structures like this for our Elementary, Middle and High schools is what made us to be rubber stamp we also agreed.
He promised the Governor to give him more support as a legislator in achieving his goals as it unfolds.