Osun Continues Distribution Of Opon Imo In Public Schools

The State Government of Osun has begun the distribution of e-learning computer tablets for the 2017/2018 academic session to final year pupils in the state’s public schools.

The distribution of the tablets began in an informal ceremony at Osogbo Government High School, Osogbo, as pupils and teachers were excited to receive the device again.

Thirty thousand units of the tablets will be given to final year pupils ahead of writing their Senior Secondary School Examinations (SSCE), the National Examinations Council (NECO) and the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) examinations.

Their teachers across the state will also get the device.

The device, nicknamed Opon Imo (Tablet of Knowledge), was introduced by the Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola administration in 2013 as a first-of-its-kind Stand-alone e-learning tablet to aid learning among secondary school pupils in the state.

The beneficiaries have been final year pupils across the state.

Since its introduction in 2013, it has served four sets of final year pupils in Osun public schools.

Out of the intended 150,000 tablets, 50,000 were produced and distributed every session to final year pupils and their teachers.

At the inaugural ceremony at Osogbo Government High School in Osogbo, the school’s head teacher, Mrs Folorunsho Olubisi Ladapo, described Opon-Imo as an unusual education infrastructure.

She noted that since its invention, the device had brought about significant improvement in teaching and learning in the public schools.

The head teacher said its introduction in the last four years had redefined the education system as well set a new standard and direction for purposeful education in Osun State.

Mrs Ladapo said: “To us as teachers and mothers, the introduction of Opon-Imo has not only revolutionised the Education sector but has also eased teaching and learning, particularly for outgoing pupils.

“This device, as we all know, has been assessed and adjudged to be a very useful education tool and has serious impact in boosting mental capacity of pupils who may not necessarily require printed materials.

“As an electronic device, we have seen the level of improvement which the innovation has brought on the results of our students in both internal and external examinations.

“We have equally experienced the great impact that this technological initiative has on the reading culture among the students.”

Lauding Aregbesola’s education revolution in the state, the head teacher said the state government was doing the best in the Education sector.

 

Osun Public School Students Emerge Winners Of Redeemers University Quiz Competition

Adventists Government High School, Ede has emerged winners of this year’s annual quiz competition organised by the Redeemers University, Ede to mark the 2017 library week.

The competition, where students made the to answer questions in various subjects which include: English Language, Mathematics, Literature in English, Economics, Geography, Commerce among others produced Osogbo government high school as first runner up.

With this feat, one can easily say the huge expenditure into the education sector of Osun is yielding positive results when students of public schools are outclassing private school students in academic competitions.

The keenly contested competition saw students of Osogbo Government High school proving that the huge investment of government in the education sector is not a waste as their opponents from private schools in the competition were no match for them.

It got to a stage that the organisers of the competition could not hide their surprise at the academic performance of the students from Osun public schools whom many present at the avenue thought would come last.

A spectator, Mr Falade Toriola who was visibly surprised at the academic prowess of the Osun public school students said he never expected students of public schools in the state to show so much maturity and brilliance in answering questions.

He said he is even more surprised that they could defeat students of private schools who many had thought would emerge winners at the competition.

Mr Toriola added that the administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has indeed turned around the education sector in Osun to the extent it is no longer necessary to go and pay exorbitant school fees in private schools which is now a waste of money.

According to him, “Sincerely speaking, I am amazed at what I have just experienced here today. For students of public schools to perform excellently well in an academic competition involving private school students.

“I have attended many academic competitions around Nigeria and I have never seen where students of public schools take students of private schools to the cleaners like this, this is amazing.

“I think the various interventions of the present administration in the education sector is beginning to yield positive results and kudos must be given to the governor.

“With this, I think it is no longer necessary for people to take their children to private schools where they pay huge amount as schools fees, public schools in Osun now stand shoulder to shoulder with the best private schools in the land” Mr Toriola stated.

Mr Festus Olajide who was represented at the event by the state acting Librarian, Mrs. Adefunke Kolawole stated that the outstanding performance of the students was a testimony of the potency of the qualitative and functional educational policy of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola’s Administration.

He then called on members of the public to support government efforts and policies aimed at taking education to higher level in Osun.

“This is a testimony to the fact that the huge investment of Aregbesola in the education sector is yielding positive results. Osun public school students can now compete with their peers from anywhere in the world.

“This competition which we have just witnessed is of very high standards and Osun public school students won it with ease against students from private schools, it goes a long way to underline the fact that things have improved tremendously.”We are proud of these students and are proud of the achievements of the present administration in the education sector”, he added.

History Will Vindicate Aregbesola’s Investment On Education

Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is a first class citizen in the education sector and history will eventually judge him rightly.

Head of Service in the State of Osun, Dr. Olowogboyega Oyebade made the assertion today at Owena and Ipetu-Ijesa while on education drive mission to two schools in the area.

It was in his separate address to the principals and teachers of Community High School, Owena and AUD Middle/ High, Ipetu-Ijesa after engaging the final year students of each of the schools in a period of English Language.

He charged them to double their efforts to improve students’ performances, adding that our challenge is to pass the forthcoming WAEC and NECO examinations with distinctions without cheating.

While commending teachers for being the most hardworking set of workers in the State, Dr. Oyebade pointed out that their best is not yet enough considering the unsatisfactory performance of students in the previous external examinations.

The Head of Service then enjoined the education stakeholders to, between now and April next year, concentrates their efforts on the final year students, advancing that they can only give good accounts of themselves through their students performances.

In an interview with the principals of both schools, Mr. Kayode Awe and Alhaji Idowu Bisiriyu who expressed delight to see the Head of Service teach in their schools, promised to do their best to ensure improved performances in the forthcoming WAEC and NECO examinations.

Governor El-Rufai’s Politics And Teachers’ Revolt

By Erasmus Ikhide

“Your Excellency Sir, we are not sacking teachers in Kaduna. Rather, we are replacing unqualified people who are unfit to be called teachers to save the future of the next generation.” That was Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s response to his Ekiti State counterpart, Governor Ayodele Fayose who chided him that the sacking of 22,000 teachers in Kaduna State could ignite climatic upsurge in crime wave and other ancillary social vices.

The teachers and the labour unions have been up in arms, protesting against the governor for daring to protest the rottenness in the educational system of the State and his attempt to arrest the drift from total collapse. It’s a case of two protesters: the first is insisting on force-feeding poor contents into students’ minds, while the latter is resisting that giving the best education to the students is the responsibility of trainable teachers. It’s like saying, ‘you can’t very well explain to your students how Newton accounted for planetary motion if you hadn’t boned up your Newtonian mechanics first.

The governor pius stand is hinged on the latest poor showing in the WASSCE performance. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report has it that in September 2016, 158,035 students from Kaduna State took the West African Senior School Certificate Examination, WASSCE, between 2011 and 2015. Only 12.8 per cent obtained credit passes in five subjects or more, including in English Language and Mathematics. Also, the Kaduna State Educational Resource Centre reported that over the same four-year period, out of 135,957 results released, only 19,137 or 14 per cent passed with the required number of credits for admission to any tertiary institution.

The illiterate teachers should have known that Governor El-Rufai who has the penchant for troubleshooting wouldn’t take the poor output of Kaduna State pupils kindly. Early in 2016, the governor embarked on a suicide mission by instigating a legislation that stipulates prison terms for parents who refused to send their wards to schools. The injuries that resulted from it has not been fully healed to date. Several efforts were made by those who are profiting from the poverty of uneducated people.

As if that was not enough, he further went for the jugular by banning street begging, a tradition that is in sick and soak with Islamic foundation of giving to the less privilege, a trade that has made thousands powerful political power brokers billionaire in the state! The illiterate teachers’ fracas with the governor is long expected, given his style of unfriendliness or his usual inability to always convince his people on policy issues since becoming governor.

Governor El-Rufai’s problem is his selfsame believe that his people would always understand his policy and passion for altruistic leadership towards a liberated state through the development of the people’s mind and the ethical restructuring of their mindset. He has been governing in abstract, believing that a “state or nation can not be greater than her own teacher”! He probably want to do justice to humanity, in a clime that views and receives education with contempt.

Poor El-Rufai expected this gesture to be applauded for his decision to replaced these illiterate teachers in a state or country that wishes to be ‘greater than her own teacher’ without clinical educational standards for the development of the human’s mind. Governor El-Rufai is not the only governor to face this tribulation. Those who made such efforts at righting the wrongs in the educational sectors, including his predecessors at their various states were either intimidated out of the policy or voted out of office.

In 2012 the late Governor Patrick Yakowa shocked Nigerians when he said a verification exercise carried out in the state revealed that no fewer than 2,000 teachers secured their appointments with fake certificates. However, he failed to deal with the issue, forthwith. The backlash is the continued poor grades and by extension poor leader at every level of our national development.

In 2013, a report in the state’s ministry of education revealed that of a total of 1,599 teachers selected from across the state who were given primary four tests in Mathematics and Basic literacy; only one of them scored 75 percent, 251 scored between 50 to 75 percent and 1,300 scored below 25 percent. When the same examination was conducted for 1,800 primary school pupils, virtually all the pupils failed the exam! Surprisingly, no action was taken against the functional illiterate teachers by governor Mukhtar Yaro!

Prior to Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s re-election in 2011, he paid an unscheduled visit to a primary school in the state capital where he encountered an illiterate teacher who could not read her own name in an affidavit she deposed to. That prompted him to organized aptitude text for all the teachers across the state. Painfully, Oshiomhole could not implement the outcome of the aptitude text and his threat to weed off the illiterate teachers from the system turned out to be mere threat. He caved in because of his second term ambition.

He later gave vent to that frustration at a town hall meeting held in July 2013, disclosing that from the audit carried out in the state, “We found that of all our primary school teachers, only 1,287, representing 9% out of 14,484 teachers have proper records in our system. 91% have various forms of discrepancies in their records. About 1,379 teachers, representing 11.5% claim that they obtained their Primary School Certificates after they had been employed as teachers. In fact, some obtained their Primary School Certificates not more than two years ago, from the school in which they were employed as teachers.”

Oshiomhole was like his counterparts across the country. They lack the balls to step up to the rot in the educational system and ride it off the plague for political reasons. That is even when the figures of Nigerian out of school number has increased to 13.2 million, yet States and federal governments budgetary allocations to education are far below UNESCO benchmark.

With the poor population of more than 90% in the country, it will be fair to say that Nigeria has not been able to provide effective education to almost 75% of the children roaming the streets. This is an extremely depressing figure knowing that education is the bedrock of nation building or great nations. The time is now to awake ourselves and start to work towards improving our education system.

Part of our drawback as a nation unfortunately, is the fact that Nigeria has been plagued with poor leadership over time, whose education or lack of it cannot develop or move the country forward. They are probably too blinded to know that education plays critical role in deciding both political and economic growth of any nation. They are too bereaved of common sense to be aware that once citizens are educated, they brings fame, wealth and prosperity to the country which help to galvanized the development of any country.

They have no idea that educated populace are less aggressive, as such, the society remains in peace, stable in the long run. Education serves as a unifying tool because educated minds work in similar ways, united by the unique sense of reasoning and almost the same sense of right and wrong.

The illiterates teachers have to be flushed out of the system to pave the way for trainable new set of teachers who will impact actual and true knowledge on Kaduna State students. If Governor El-Rufai pulls through, the up coming generation would forever be grateful to him for his statesmanship. He would be remembered as the governor who sacrificed his political ambition for the future generation. The retention of the illiterate teachers in the educational system in Kaduna State, as it is the case with other states of the federation can only bring damnation to Nigeria now and in the future.

Erasmus, A Public Affairs Analyst writes from Lagos.

Email: [email protected]

Follow me twitter @ikhide_erasmus1

El-Rufai Vs NUT: The Battle For Educational Reforms

By Segun Ojo

From the beginning of civilisation until now education has been the major propellant behind man’s voyage in all spheres of life. We all can testify to the spectacular jump in human knowledge and its applications particularly in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Though, our mediocre education has taken us this far, if we can call where we are far. But how much farther can it take us in an ever competitive world. It is sickening to see that we are bent on making education totally irrelevant to our quest to be counted among the biggest economies of the world.

Looking at the trending educational crisis in Kaduna state between Governor Nasir El-Rufai and the Nigeria Union of Teachers, relating to the competency test organized by the state government for 33,000 primary school teachers out of which 21,780 teachers woefully failed the primary four pupils examination organized for them. One begin to wondering ,even asking a rhetorical question that who really is a teacher and who could a pupil be when teachers who were supposed to be a role model for the pupils in primary school, to give basic and qualitative education they deserve, could act so disrespectful to the profession that gave birth to them. …who really is a teacher?

The teacher stands at the most important point in the educational process and must be well versed in the act of teaching. This means that a person called teacher must have acquired the skills required to perform his/her role. A teacher should be someone who had undergone a long period of socialized training and is regarded as a moral instructor, moral educator and a moral model for his/her students. Teaching as a profession has to do with impacting skills, knowledge, information, and attitude among others to the learner. The quality of teachers found in our primary schools goes a long way in determining the quality of pupils from this level of education.

Therefore, teaching cannot be done by just anybody because it involves a body of knowledge being impacted to a less experienced or immature person through conscious and deliberate approach, that teaching as a process requires some knowledgeable personalities, who offer the necessary knowledge and skills to another person. No education can rise above the quality of its teachers.

Developing a functional pool of trained intelligence that will drive the building of a virile nation is a daunting and time consuming exercise which unfortunately never ends. And no country can depend on the human capital of other countries to provide solutions to its development challenges. The critical importance of a locally available highly trained workforce in nation building is undeniable.

And as being posited that a unionist is always believe to be someone who sees reasons to every situation and believes in truth and plight of members in a reasonable manner. Therefore, there is need for the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Kaduna state chapter to see reasons why the 21,780 teachers who failed the primary four pupils examination have not done well to motivate a true spirit of unionism to fight for them but to rather leave the system for the competent and fresh brain to come in, because the hands that build do not destroy and teachers are known as small god who preach knowledge in any society. A house built on faulty foundation cannot stand.

Many things may go wrong between the state government and the teachers but the fact  still remains that education reform is a necessity that all need to embrace, as government, teachers, unionists, stakeholders, parents and other members of the society, qualitative and basic education is as important as the daily meal to any human.

Disappointing, when the NUT Chairman, Kaduna state chapter, Audu Amba was claimed to have said those failed teachers are his members and they have duty to protect them, the question that may come to mind is that, is Kaduna NUT happy with how their members failed an exam that was meant for primary four pupils in the state, or do they enjoy the song of failure people are singing for their members?

NUT should look beyond protecting members’ course but rather think of the children whose lives will be affected in the system. Unionists and teachers are also parents to some children; they should imagine what their notion will be if their wards are being thought by some set of teachers who could not only speak good English but also failed a primary four pupil examination in a larger number. Lord Lugard said if a tree is cut in the forest imagine what your reaction will be if such an act is done to you. A blind does not lead a blind.

Every state of the nation need to go back to the drawing board of education reform because we cannot continue politicizing the process of educational sector and want a better result. Making a reference to some states of the nation who take the lead in the education reform particularly at primary school level, Osun is one of those states who is in forefront for education reform per excellence.

Considering the quality of primary school teachers in Osun state one will have to commend the efforts of the government and the state Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for his kind hearted in making qualitative basic education a necessity for children in the state. Construction of ultra model schools with modern facilities for the pupil across the state in order to ensure a conducive learning environment.

What a comparison! There is a need for Kaduna NUT and umbrella body of workers – NLC to give a full support to Governor El-Rufai in his fresh campaign to revive the primary school education from unqualified teachers who could not pass the basic assessment of their pupil. If the teachers and the NUT failed to see any good in what the Governor is doing then they should realize that a blind does not lead a blind.

Using Education To Eradicate Poverty In Osun

By Inwalomhe Donald

The United Nations’ Global Multi-dimensional Poverty Index which ranked Osun State second richest state has three measurements and 10 indicators in evaluating Overall Poverty. Every measurement is similarly weighed; every indicator within a measurement is additionally weighed, and included. It uses 10 indicators to measure poverty in three dimensions: education, health and living standards. The UN Global Multi-dimensional poverty index published a report based on the poverty rate of Nigerian states and ranked Osun second richest state.

According to the Federal Bureau of Statistics, “quality and functional educations are panacea to poverty eradication”, hence Osun’s commitment to education through building of many elementary schools, middle schools and 11 high schools to equip children with skills to eradicate poverty.

Osun education under Governor Rauf Aregbesola has developed human capabilities in areas such as health, education, agriculture, finance, transportation, commerce and governance which are the indicators needed to eradicate poverty. Osun elementary, middle and high schools education empowered people to improve their social, cultural and economic status. Huge investment in education and skills acquired increased opportunities for economic growth and are therefore a key prerequisite for poverty eradication.

The priority that Aregbesola’s administration gives to the development of education in Osun has inspired many initiatives that have brought marked differences to the grooming of minds. The blueprint that emerged from the Education Summit the administration organised in the first year of its assumption of office had provided useful direction for its drive to reposition education in the state. From huge investments in instructional materials and teaching aids, crucial changes in curriculum, corrective restructuring of schools into Elementary, Middle, and High in conformity with international best practices in school management, to the construction of mega schools, the administration moves on to ensure that public schools in the state become virile emporium of sustainable capacity-building to eradicate poverty. In the last six years, remarkable successes have been recorded and rich lessons distilled from low points.

What exists in Osun in terms of educational infrastructure development is not symbolism, but substance in developing IT and other careers to eradicate poverty.

Educational system in Osun under the leadership of Aregbesola has introduced several innovations that are needed to eradicate poverty which have received accolades home and abroad. The massive construction of new schools, Osun School Feeding Programmes (OMEAL), introduction of Opon Imo amongst other innovations have not only placed Osun on the world map of educational development, it has prepared ground for a brighter future for the students of public schools in the state by eradicating poverty.  Governor Aregbesola had said that the education revolution was part of his administration’s resolve to build a new man in every child in the state, a decision which he said would help to sustain the future of the state and to a very large extent eradicate poverty.

Osun elementary, middle and high schools have made advances in science and technology that are changing Osun in the foreseeable future. Aregbesola has identified that you cannot fight poverty without education, and he is talking about public education because more than 90 per cent of the schooling population are in public schools. When you address the issues of public schools, you are addressing poverty. In the 300 wards in the state, many schools from each ward had benefitted from Osun intervention programme.

When Osun improved the standard of public schools, by implication, it will save not less than 50 per cent of what they spend in private schools and they will get better services. Osun needs good education anchored by good leadership. Without education you cannot have water engineers, electrical engineers, you cannot have profitable agricultural sector. Even without education, you cannot have good security system. It is when there is good education system that a well-secured environment can be guaranteed. The problem in the education sector is something that has been systemic. It is not something that started in the last eight years or so.

The role of education in poverty eradication, in close co-operation with other social sectors, is crucial. No country has succeeded if it has not educated the people therein. Not only is education important in reducing poverty, it is also a key to wealth creation. Within this context, one of the pledges of the Dakar Framework for Action – Education for All: Meeting our Collective Commitments – was “To promote EFA policies within a sustainable and well-integrated sector frame/work clearly linked to poverty elimination and development strategies”.

The role of education in this process is particularly one of the ways of achieving universal primary education and adult literacy. The report made by the Secretary-General of the United Nations within the context of the Decade for the Eradication of Poverty confirms that universal primary education is central to the fight against poverty. Understandably so, because this is the level of education through which most poor children pass and within which their achievements should assist them to break the cycle of poverty. In fact, education is the social institution that reaches the largest segment of the population with the goal of guiding it through a systematic learning process.

The state-of-the-art schools which were and currently being built are of the world standard with all the facilities required in the 21stcentury standard educational institute anywhere in the world all driven forwards poverty eradication. With the quality of the schools, no one would ever believe that such could be built in Nigeria.

Just as the government has invested hugely on the infrastructural development, it has also taken further steps through its investment in human capacity to gain competitive advantage with developed countries. Besides the frequent training and retraining of teachers, particularly at the elementary, middle and high schools, one other major project that has been seen to be beneficial to teaching and learning was the introduction of the popular Opon Imo (Computer Tablet of Knowledge) to equip Osun students with ICT skills to eradicate poverty.

The Aregbesola’s administration championed the inspiring innovations through the ground breaking project which is meant to make the optimum utilization of ICT and concisely tackle learning problems to eradicate poverty. The state, through its Opón Ìmò Technology Enhanced Learning System (OTELS), has developed a learning tool that could revolutionise learning in developing states around the world.

Achieving universal primary education is a key prerequisite for the successful eradication of poverty and hunger worldwide. Only guaranteed access to a full course of primary schooling ensures that individuals are able to fulfill their development potentials and participate in the globalisation process on an equal footing. Primary education also provides the knowledge that is required for the individual to benefit from further education in the secondary and tertiary sectors and vocational training.

The purpose of basic education is to encourage learning, facilitate the ongoing learning process, promote independent thought and be problem-solving. Besides literacy and numeracy, people must also acquire life skills, for example self-help skills to eradicate poverty. Studies by the World Bank show that just four years of education help people to increase the productivity of their agricultural small holdings. Basic education is the major prerequisite for developing a population’s creative and productive capacities. A well-trained workforce enhances the quality and quantity of a country’s labour productivity.

Ayedaade ES Warns Pupils To Protect Public Property

The Executive Secretary, Ayedaade Local Government Council area of the State of Osun, Mr. Bashir Oduwole has warned teachers as well as pupils to take proper care of government’s properties in their various schools.

He gave the warning during his visit to some public elementary schools in the Council Area recently.

The schools visited included Olufi Government Middle School, Gbongan; St. David’s Mega High School, Ode-Omu, and Baptist Middle School, Ode Omu; St. Michael’s Government Elementary School, Ode-Omu, and Muslim Middle School, Ode-Omu.

In a statement by the Information Officer of the Local Government, Mrs. Khadija Amusan, the monitoring exercise also afforded the ES the opportunity to call on parents to make good use of the Open Day to visit and assess their children performance in the school.

The council boss stressed that the Open Day is designated worldwide to afford parents the opportunity to ask questions about the attitude of their children or wards, behaviour and general comportment in school.

Oduwole commended Governor Rauf Aregbesola for the initiative and promises to ensure that the standard of education is elevated across all the local governments of the state.

The ES then appreciated the government of the state for the computer systems introduced into schools to aid pupils’ knowledge about Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

The Open Day adopted into the state’s curriculum by the government through the Ministry of Education is a window which allows all parents and guardians to visit schools during session to ascertain the level of performance and attendance of their children/wards in school.

The council boss was accompanied on the tour by his cabinet members which include, the Council Manager, Alhaji Yinus Akande; Head of Administration Department, Mr. Odebode Adesayo; Head of Finance Department, Mr. Afolabi Kehinde; Auditor, Alhaji Mustafa Mutair among others.

Nasir -Rufai And The Question Of Mediocrity, By Sonola Olumhense

I wholeheartedly applaud the decision of Kaduna State governor Nasir el-Rufai to fire nearly 22,000 of his teachers and replace them with tested ones.

The decision followed a process in which two of every three teachers could not pass a Primary Four competency test. On Twitter last Thursday, the governor published some of the atrocities produced by some of the teachers in the test.

Read some of those papers, Senator Shehu Sani (APC-Kaduna Central Constituency), and you should be ashamed. The senator rushed to the press, describing the firing plan as the “height of lunacy,” and as “a plot to employ political loyalists of the governor.”

According to the Senator, “(Governor El-Rufai) promised the people of the state that he will enroll his children in public school when he becomes governor, he has not only failed to do that but he is destroying the educational future of those who chose to send their wards to public school. Incompetence is not a reason but an excuse to sack thousands of teachers owed salaries for months.”

I subscribe fully to holding political office holders to account, and the senator has questions he should be asking the governor. But blackmail is not a question, it is a crime. And it is a particularly bad strategy for eliciting transparency.

The truth is that what El-Rufai is combating is not simply bad or unqualified teachers. It is the scourge of mediocrity in Nigeria, beginning with the public services. The scandalous examples of those teachers published by the governor last week to illustrate his determination to fire them underscore the scale of the problem.

I have chosen the word, scandalous, carefully. It is scandalous that anyone would have hired such “teachers” in the first place. Queried the governor, “Would you allow someone like this teach your child?”

It did not seem to matter to the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), which authorised the Nigeria Union of Teachers in Kaduna to organise a protest rally.

It is not surprising that there are some people and institutions, exemplified by Senator Sani and the NLC, who seem to believe that a teacher is a teacher. The extension of that argument is that it does not matter what quality of education a child gets.

It is a stupid argument, but not one that is difficult to understand: we have become a nation of poor values. But you simply cannot suggest that a child is entitled to unqualified teachers and claim to have faith in the future at the same time.

Governor El-Rufai has explained that the debris in teaching in Kaduna State was emptied into the system because teacher-recruitment became a victim of politics, with politicians, bureaucrats and local government officials finding it to be a dumping ground for a variety of unqualified persons. It is a story that other state governors should learn from.

“Teachers were employed at the local government level without adherence to standards,” he said last week. “In many instances, no examinations or interviews were conducted to assess the quality of recruits. Political patronage, nepotism and corruption became the yardstick, thus giving unqualified persons a way in. Teaching jobs were given as patronage to those connected to politicians and bureaucrats.”

It is the truth. The same explanation applies in the civil service, but it is in teaching that the greatest danger exists because the damage is replicated and multiplied with each damaged child.

Which leaves Governor El-Rufai’s basic question: “Would you allow someone (who does not know how to teach or what to teach ruin) your child?”

Now, would you? In effect, anyone who says the fired teachers should be allowed to keep their jobs answers that question in the affirmative. We summon cheap arguments and blackmail to disguise the point that you need a leader to make the difficult decisions.

Anyone can make the politically-convenient ones, but if the future is to be any better than the present, the difficult decisions, including eliminating thugs and semi-illiterates masquerading as trained and competent teachers, must be made.

But the challenge is far bigger: the situation in Kaduna over unqualified teachers is really the question of standards in Nigeria, and the prevalence of mediocrity in public service.

When presidents and governors, rather than seek the most qualified and motivated, choose party hacks, relatives and mistresses for critical appointments, ministers and commissioners and permanent secretaries and managing directors—as well as those hacks and relatives—do the same.

In turn, when ministers and commissioners and permanent secretaries and managing directors choose party hacks, relatives and mistresses over the most qualified and motivated, they use the same template to poison their offices. The job is either an award or a reward, and competence and accountability are not suggested, let alone demanded.

Everyone knows that this: the practice and persistence of poor and wrong appointments, is largely why Nigerian public institutions fail. Only last week, for instance, following a newspaper story that 81 of President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointments are from three northern states, the presidency responded with a 159-person submission it described as a ‘full list’ of all his appointments.

“To claim, suggest or attempt to insinuate that the President’s appointments are tilted in favour of a section of the country is simply untrue and certainly uncharitable,” said spokesman Femi Adesina.

But the presidency was wrong, a close examination of the list showing it to be littered with sundry errors and misrepresentation.

Questioned, Mr. Adesina said his “full list” was not “completely exhaustive,” there being appointments he had not reflected. “It’s just to show that the paper that published 100 and said 81 was from the North is not right. It was a mischievous story.”

Perhaps. But that would make the 159-person claim of a “full list” a fabrication. Nothing prevented the presidency from telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth in one intervention.

And official fabrications, including appointing unqualified teachers, have made Nigeria a joke for nearly 60 years and crumbled our institutions. Eighty-one or 200 persons of the most demonstrably qualified and committed, even if they are from the same local council area, will lead a nation to great heights.

In Nigeria, the international capital of hypocrisy, the job of such appointees is persistently to explain not how great things were accomplished, but why failure was the only option. For a living, they construct excuses rather than structures and institutions which elevate the people.

Think about it: preceding the presidency’s 159-person howler was its fugitive Abdulrasheed Maina reinstatement-with-promotion-and-four-year-back-pay scandal. That was preceded by the mess in the Ministry of Petroleum.

Think about it: only last week, the World Internal Security and Police Index, an initiative of the International Police Science Association and the Institute for Economics and Peace, announced its rankings of 127 of the world’s police forces. The Nigeria Police ranked the worst, at 127th.

Similarly, the World Health Organisation has ranked Nigerian roads among the world’s most dangerous for driving. And yes, unlike 2016 when we had only one airport listed among the world’s 10 worst, this year we have two!

A speech is not an achievement.

Osun Govt. Warns Parents Warned Against Child Labour During School Hours

The Commissioner for Education (State of Osun), Mr. Kola Omotunde-Young has called on parents and guardians especially in rural areas to desist from the habit of sending their children to markets and farms during school
hours.

He said parents who refuse to comply with the advice will be made to
face the full wrath of the law which includes imprisonment, as it is
an offence punishable under the law to deny students education.

The Commissioner stated this during a recent inspection visit to some
schools across the state in a bid to boost teaching and learning
activities.

He said absentee students will definitely not be aware of what is
taught in schools thereby leading to their poor academic performance.

The Education Commissioner also enjoined parents and guardians to
provide textbooks, notebooks and required learning materials to their
children in support of government’s efforts and as part of their
responsibilities to their wards.

He reminded parents and guardians of the need to see the education of
their children as onerous task which must be done in collaboration
with the government, stressing that their future can be guaranteed
through proper education of their children.

He noted that the quality of teaching and learning is judged by the
ability of pupils to read, write legibly and understand. He encouraged
teachers to do more and ensure that the children put under their care
can read, write well and understand. He said it is because of the
pupils that all who work in the Ministry of Education and schools are
engaged and that henceforth teachers and Education Administrators
shall be appraised based on the performance of their pupils and
students

The Commissioner also charged Principals and teachers of schools in
the state to ensure that teaching and learning take place in decent
and clean environments and stressed that the government of Ogbeni Rauf
Aregbesola is determined to lay a solid foundation for functional
education in Osun.

Some of the schools visited are St. Richards Elementary/Middle School,
Gbongan Olufi Government Middle School, Baptist Day Elementary and
Middle School, Mojapa, Gbongan.

Others are St. James Elementary and Middle School, Lagbaka, Gbongan
and Gbongan-Odeomu Unity High School.

Osun Govt. Warns Parents Against Child Labour During School Hours

The Commissioner for Education (State of Osun), Mr. Kola Omotunde-Young has called on parents and guardians especially in rural areas to desist from the habit of sending their children to markets and farms during school
hours.

He said parents who refuse to comply with the advice will be made to
face the full wrath of the law which includes imprisonment, as it is
an offence punishable under the law to deny students education.

The Commissioner stated this during a recent inspection visit to some
schools across the state in a bid to boost teaching and learning
activities.

He said absentee students will definitely not be aware of what is
taught in schools thereby leading to their poor academic performance.

The Education Commissioner also enjoined parents and guardians to
provide textbooks, notebooks and required learning materials to their
children in support of government’s efforts and as part of their
responsibilities to their wards.

He reminded parents and guardians of the need to see the education of
their children as onerous task which must be done in collaboration
with the government, stressing that their future can be guaranteed
through proper education of their children.

He noted that the quality of teaching and learning is judged by the
ability of pupils to read, write legibly and understand. He encouraged
teachers to do more and ensure that the children put under their care
can read, write well and understand. He said it is because of the
pupils that all who work in the Ministry of Education and schools are
engaged and that henceforth teachers and Education Administrators
shall be appraised based on the performance of their pupils and
students

The Commissioner also charged Principals and teachers of schools in
the state to ensure that teaching and learning take place in decent
and clean environments and stressed that the government of Ogbeni Rauf
Aregbesola is determined to lay a solid foundation for functional
education in Osun.

Some of the schools visited are St. Richards Elementary/Middle School,
Gbongan Olufi Government Middle School, Baptist Day Elementary and
Middle School, Mojapa, Gbongan.

Others are St. James Elementary and Middle School, Lagbaka, Gbongan
and Gbongan-Odeomu Unity High School.

Council Boss Tasks Pupils To Justify Aregbesola’s Investments In Education

Students have been admonished to work hard and pay adequate attention to their education to justify the huge investment of the present administration on basic education.

 

Executive Secretary Boripe North Local Council Development Area, (LCDA) Prince Bola Adejumo said this while inspecting public schools in the council area to mark the first Open Day Programme in Elementary and Middle Schools in the state of Osun. He commended the state Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for introducing the open day programme explaining that the introduction of open day for parents is to afford them the opportunity of accessing the performance of their children in school.

 

He urged the teachers to be more committed to teaching and to give the children adequate parental care by monitoring, caring and be friendly with them in the classroom. He promised to intensify efforts in the renovation of classrooms in some affected public schools in the council area.

 

Speaking during the inspection, Principal, African Church Middle School, Iree, Mrs. Agboola Kikelomo urged the parents to always be the best friend of their children saying “any parent who failed to cater for their children destroy their end time”.

 

Kikelomo who lamented prevalence of wearing tattered school uniform urged the parents to always strive hard to provide the basic needs of their children for better concentration.