Osun State government has begun processes on how 6,000 Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) volunteers would be retrained and absorbed into the teachers’ cadre.
The governor of the state, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola disclosed this last Saturday at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife,while delivering a lecture titled “Youth Empowerment and Future of Democracy” in honour of Justice Bola Babalakin (rtd), organized by the Liberation Chamber, a students’ body in the Faculty of Law of the university, saying that the volunteers would be retrained and deployed to public schools.
He also stated that a certain number of the volunteers, who have excelled in the few assignments given to them, would soon be sent to India for retraining, with a view to advancing them into various disciplines.
According to the governor, for a brighter future of a particular state or country, there is need to invest in youths, which he noted starts with education, saying that the present administration in the state is irrevocably committed to the restructuring of education in the state by rebuilding the schools, just as he emphasized that the schools, especially at the primary and secondary levels, are beyond rehabilitation.
He said: “For us, we are irrevocably committed to restructure education in the state. We have comprehensively reviewed education in OsunState and I am saying that under my watch, no child will be left behind. Basic education will be free and compulsory.
“Our first task is the repositioning of public schools, which we are going to rebuild and not repairing, because they are beyond rehabilitation and construction has started in some places.
“In the new structure, we shall have elementary schools for primary 1 to 3; junior schools from Primary 4 to JSS3 and we shall have high schools from SS1 to SS3. That is the structure of basic education that we will have and it is going to be a trail-blazing experience for our people in addition to infrastructure, curricular and faculty.
“However, we are taking our education sector and creation of jobs to the next level by working on the absorbing 6,000 of the OYES volunteers, who have degrees in education or who are in any of the education line into the teachers cadre. We shall retrain them and deploy them to schools. A few of them who we have seen to have excelled in the few assignments we have given to them are going to be sent to India for training to advance them in various disciplines”, he added.
Social scientists, the governor said, have established that if youths are engaged in one gainful activity or the other, the crime rate would be drastically reduced or eradicated in the society, saying “that is what prompted us to create the 20,000 jobs within our first 100 days in office.
Describing the processing and training of the volunteers alone as a challenge, Aregbesola noted that in the history of Nigeria, no government has ever conceived a job creation programme that would take 20,000 youths at a time, give them succour and deploy them to serve their communities.
He hinted that the volunteers were trained in leadership and discipline, expressing joy that the youths themselves know that their lives have changed and they have become dedicated and responsible social workers without looking at the salaries or allowances attached, rather they look at how they could contribute to the society.
Eulogizing Justice Babalakin as a man of honour, Aregbesola noted that the retired Supreme Court Judge was among the few Nigerians, who have made solid legal foundation for the country and established the hope in the judiciary.