Osun’s Pathetic Public Schools

To the vainglorious administration of Olagunsoye Oyinlola – an administration that has patented the art of living in perpetual denial of the obvious, here is another testimonial – from no other than the Bishop of Church of Nigeria, Ife Diocese, (Anglican Communion), the Rt. Rev. Oluranti Odubogun.

Osun public schools, says the revered cleric, stink. The roofs are leaking. The walls are broken down. Laboratories are non-existent just as libraries, are unavailable. Even the so-called books claimed to have been supplied by Oyinlola to the schools have remained in the dream shelves of the governor and his appointees.

Like every citizen of the state, the leading cleric was only expressing his disappointment with the many lies peddled by the administration, particularly its disgusting claims that it has done something to stem the rot when it has done nothing. The report also quoted the cleric as pleading that Oyinlola returns the schools to their former owners, since, obviously, the government has run out of ideas on how to run them.

The current state of the public schools is the familiar story of mediocrity personified by the former brass-hat. The citizens’ disgust, disenchantment and frustration are what the cleric has captured rather succinctly.

Beyond the expression of frustration, the cleric is eminently justified as a major stakeholder in the educational project in the state, to be alarmed that the do-nothing government would fritter the remaining legacies of an educationally-advantaged state with its rudderless-ness and ineptitude.

Here, we recall the rich legacy, dating back to the ambitious educational programmes of the Western Region under the late sage Obafemi Awolowo, which has remained a reference to this day. For sure, everything Oyinlola’s hands touch, turns to dross.

Well, Oyinlola and his cohorts may continue to live in denial; however, we know what the picture of public schools looks like. It is one of neglect. Learning environment remains unfriendly with classrooms either lacking in roofs or sitting materials to motivate pupils. Libraries are non-existent; laboratories are a rarity in a state that is said to be aspiring to join the league of front-liners in education.

Equally so is the lot of teachers under Oyinlola: they remain at the bottom rung among the ill-motivated in the entire country. Never in the relatively short history of the state has it witnessed the kind of mismanagement of its aspirations as we have seen under Oyinlola, even at a time that the state revenue has been increasing exponentially.

The question all right-thinking citizens of the state should join their voices in asking Oyinlola is what happened to the annual budgetary allocations to rehabilitate the sector? What happened to the contracts awarded to party goons all in the name of restoring school structures? What happened to the proceeds of the harsh levies imposed on parents by the extortionist Oyinlola regime? Where are the schools that the administration claimed it supplied with reading materials?

It may not be far fetched to suggest that the huge funds voted to service the critical needs of the sector, may have gone the way of the other funds meant to address other needs of the people – misapplied or worse still, misappropriated by a government which sees service in the narrow prism of self-enrichment.

We can hardly make the point enough that Osun people deserve a better fate. The yokes of maladministration and irresponsible governance have become a burden too heavy to bear for the good people of the Living Spring. With the future of children being at stake here, it is hard to know how to even begin with advising a government that appears so impervious to reason and good judgment.

Like others join in the state, we can only make the supplication that our dear state be rid of the afflictions of visionless leadership, soon enough. Only then would citizens begin to enjoy the fruits of a new dawn of purposeful leadership. The good news is that the dawn may be here sooner than later. That is why citizens cannot afford to lose hope.

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