By Kehinde Ayantunji
Government of the State of Osun has rewarded the schools that triumph in the just-concluded Public and private schools statewide calisthenics competition to the tune of N8 Million to encourage more participation.
State Head of Service, Dr Oyebade Olowogboyega and the Commissioner for Education, Mr Omotunde Kola Young presented the trophy and cash gift to the winners at the ceremony held in Osogbo last Tuesday.
Glory Group of Schools, Okuku a private school, Raphael College Ikire and St. Micheal RCM Ibokun which came first got N1 million each while the first runner up, L.A. Middle School, Ilesha , Nahada Group of Schools Inisa and Ife-Oluwa Middle School Osogbo got N750,000 each.
Those in second runner up category, Osu Community Middle School, Osu, Olive Branches Schools, Osogbo, and Anglican Central Government Middle School. Ile-Ife got N500,000 each.
Others five schools in the last category, Anglican Middle/High School Ife Odan, Oba Laoye and Anasru-Islam Middle School Ede, Oluorogbo Middle School Ile-Ife, Shekinah Schools Inisa and Osun North Anglican Diocesan Comprehensive High School Agbeye got the consolation prince of N200,000 each.
Director, Social Mobilization and Guardian, Mr Bayo Ojo said the price reward was among others to encourage more participation and assist the schools in improving their sporting facilities in the quest of the state government to institutionalise Calisthenics as part of school curricular.
He said 28 schools indicated interest to participate in the competition but 14 were selected based on evaluation of capacity, available facilities and preparedness, adding that the process allows competitions and merit which eventually produced the best that will perform on November 25 as part of the governorship inauguration programme.
He said this year’s edition accommodated private schools, saying this has expanded the scope of the programme, as he solicited the support of the private sector to sustain the programme which he described as worthy in building a better future for Nigeria.
Commissioner for Education, Omotunde Young commended Governor Rauf Aregbesola for the initiative, adding that it requires unusual understanding and strong leadership to sustain a programme like calisthenics considering its cost.
According to him, in 2017 alone, over 6,000 students were engaged which has transformed their lives through discipline, mental alertness, precision and team work and other Omoluabi virtues.
He said, government was supporting each students with N1,500 weekly transport allowance throughout the training period and procured the necessary kits for the success of the display.
Omotunde however said with the introduction of school competitions, the people and schools have taken ownership of the programme, as parents are now the one willingly procuring the kits for their children with letter of consent to participate, while many teachers have equally undergone training as coaches in their schools.
The Head of Service, Olowogboyega said in the history of the state, Governor Aregbesola has demonstrated uncommon commitment in the educational sector.
He commended the teachers for the recent strides in the West African Examination Council (WAEC) with 70 percent performance in English and Mathematics.
He said “ Aregbsola has brought the riddles of impossibility through calisthenics and it is the teachers that will solve this problem, your commitment and determination are important for the success of the programme”.