It is not an hyperbole to say the present administration in Osun under the leadership of Governor Rauf Aregbesola has broken the perpetual yoke being experienced in the education sector prior to its inception.
The Aregbesola’s government took over power on November 26th, 2010 from the erstwhile Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola who ruled the state for seven-and-half year.
On assumption of office, Aregbesola summoned leading stars in the education sector, an initiative that witnessed the conveyance and presence of renowned academia led by the African Literature Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka and the host of other revered professors emeritus.
The Education Summit brought about the manifestoes and workable recommendations that helped the state to deal aggressively with the palpable rot in all the economic systems particularly the untreated grey areas in the education sector.
It is however on record that part of the recommendations given by the Summit borne out of the well-thought out conceptualized ideology that didn’t only address squarely the inefficiencies, deficiencies, insensitivity, lackadaisical and weaknesses of the ousted administrations in taking the bull by the horn to redeem the lost glory in the sector.
The first noble step taken brought about the reclassification and re-categorization of public education sector into elementary, middle and high schools, as this gesture led to the erection of mega schools across the length and breadth of the state.
The model schools which possessed all forms of modern facilities with un-arguable architectural design that has been the cynosure of all discerning eyes came to limelight through Osun Education Revolution Initiative and School Infrastructure Development Policy.
However, the initiator of the pace-setting ideology, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on September 1st 2016 brought the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari to Osogbo, the state capital where one of the gigantic schools, Osogbo Government High School was commissioned.
Prior to this, Ejigbo Government High School, located in Ejigbo township of Osun West Senatorial District, had been commissioned by Professor Wole Soyinka to whom the school was named after.
In building these edifices and renovating the dilapidated and deplorable school buildings across the nooks and crannies of the state, one can never rule out the consciousness of equity and evenness deployed by the Aregbesola led government at ensuring that no Federal Constituency or Senatorial District fails to benefit from his innovative ideology that culminated the multitude school infrastructure developments in the state.
The model schools were built across the nine Federal Constituencies and three Senatorial Districts made up of Osun while other infrastructural developments particularly the widely applauded Osun Social Intervention Initiative followed suit.
Aside on the fact that the largest chunks of the state’s treasury had been concentrated to re-energize the slumbering education sector in the state, the Aregbesola’s government had in the last six years done justice to all sectors particularly education sector.
The assessment of the investment made so far to repositioning education sector in the state revealed that except Osun, no state had made such move in Nigeria as education is seen as non-negotiable priority of Aregbesola’s administration.
The statistics revealed that eight Model Elementary schools were built and commissioned with 200 classrooms in Osun Central Senatorial District whereas 4 out of these schools were built in Osogbo Local Government, 1 in Boripe Local Government, one in Odo-Otin Local Government, 1 in Irepodun Local Government and 1 in Orolu Local Government respectively with sum of N2billion.
It is on records that 6 Model Elementary schools were built and commissioned with150 classrooms in Osun East Senatorial District where 1 was built in Ife Central Local Government, 2 in Ilesa East Local Government, 1 in Ilesa West Local Government, 1 in Atakunmosa West Local Government and 1 in Ife North Local Government with sum of N1.5billion.
Statistics has it that 8 Model Middle schools were built and commissioned with 200 classrooms in Osun Central Senatorial District as 3 of them were located in Osogbo LG, 1 in Olorunda LG, 1 in Boripe LG, 1 in Ila LG, 1 in Ifelodun LG and 1 in Irepodun LG respectively with sum of N2billion.
However, 7 Model Middle schools were built and commissioned with 175 classrooms in Osun East Senatorial District with which 1 was built in Ife Central LG, 1 in Ife East LG, 2 in Ilesa East LG, 1 in Oriade LG, 1 in Obokun LG and 1 in Ife East Area Office (Modakeke) executed with sum of N1.750billion.
Similarly, 7 Model High schools were built at sum of N4.9billion in Osun Central Senatorial District as Osogbo LG has 5, Ila LG has 4 and Ifelodun LG has 1 respectively.
Also in Osun East Senatorial District, 2 Model High Schools were built with which 1 is located in Ife Central LG and the other one in Ilesa East LG with sum of N1.4billion.
The Aregbesola’s administration in conjunction with UBEC also renovated 606 classrooms across 87 Model Schools in Osun Central Senatorial District while more than 605 classrooms were renovated across 90 Models Schools in Osun East Senatorial District.
Likewise, 21,048 sets furniture were supplied to the schools across the ten Local Government Areas in Osun Central Senatorial District and 20,900 sets furniture were equally supplied to the schools across the ten Local Government Areas of Osun East Senatorial District.
Statistics further revealed that more than 55,000 students benefited from the free tablets of knowledge popularly called “Opon Imo” in Osun Central Senatorial District while over 45,000 students enjoyed similar gestures in Osun East Senatorial District.
On personnel recruitment, training and promotion, it is on records that over 2,500 Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) cadets from Osun Central Senatorial District were deployed to different schools as teachers while about 1,150 regular teachers were recruited from same zone as 9,200 teachers were trained in 26 different training programmes and workshops.
Also, more than 6,057 teaching and non-teaching staff was promoted from Osun Central Senatorial District.
Over 1,500 OYES cadets were deployed to different schools as teachers in Osun East Senatorial District while 1,004 regular teachers were recruited from same district and 8,391 teachers were trained in 26 different training programmes and workshops.
Also, more than 5,000 teaching and non-teaching staff were promoted from Osun East Senatorial District.
The amazing part of the state’s education intervention initiatives is the uncommon School Feeding Programme popularly called “OMEAL” that has become the prototype and model locally and internationally.
This innovative ideology, life-changing and health promoting initiatives also took it impact in the duo Senatorial Districts as more than 85,000 pupils gets fed daily under Osun School Feeding Programmes through which more than 1,000 cooks were employed while close to 68,000,000 plates of meals have been served to pupils in Osun Central Senatorial District since 2012 with N4.760billion.
More than 80,000 pupils gets fed daily under school feeding programmes through which 1,000 cooks were employed since 2012 and over 64,000,000 plates of meals have been served to pupils with N4,480billion in Osun East Senatorial District.
Above all, close to 250,000 school uniforms were distributed free to students across the ten LGAs of Osun Central Senatorial District while more than 200,000 units of school uniforms have been distributed freely to students in Osun East Senatorial District so far.