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.

 

Encomiums As Aregbesola Commissions Another N94m School In Ipetumodu

The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, on Tuesday added another feat to his administration’s achievements in the education sector with the commissioning of another Elementary school, St. Augustine’s Government Elementary School, Ipetumodu, in Ife North Local Government Area of the state.

The Elementary school at the cost of N94 million is a‎ quadrangular block of 12 rooms, 10 of which are used as classrooms, one is a computer centre while the last one is used as the library.

It also has a Headmaster’s office, a store, a power office and a conference room. It is complete with its own borehole, power transformer and a recreation and sporting centre.

Aregbesola at the commissioning held that the school among others are designed to be able to attract the best brains from their catchment areas, especially draw intake from public middle schools, where excellence is also the watchword.

He added that Osun elementary schools are neighbourhood schools where children out of infancy will have schools at their walking distance; within view of familiar neighbours.

According to the Governor, “Today marks another epoch in New Dawn of Education Infrastructure in the State of Osun. The last time we gathered for this purpose was on Tuesday, October 24, 2017, when we commissioned Ilesa Government High School, Ilesa.

“In the order of our new elementary schools, the most recent was the commissioning of the AUD Government Elementary School, Sabo Osogbo, on November 29, 2016. ‎

“On March 21 this year, our trains moved around simultaneously, to celebrate the official opening and commencement of learning activities at four newly-built government high schools; namely: Ataoja Government High School, Osogbo; Osogbo Government High School, Osogbo; Wole Soyinka Government High School, Ejigbo; and Adventist Government High School, Ede.

“These schools were the first set of completed high school infrastructure embarked upon by our administration and have since been put to use by end-users, the students and their teachers”.

Aregbesola added that beyond new buildings, he has carried out renovations on 40 other schools which gives 1,694 standard classrooms in the existing elementary, middle and high schools, noting that they will accommodate nearly 90,000 pupils.

He also held that his administration has provided more than 100,000 desks and chairs, toilets and boreholes and made schools decent places to be.

Earlier in his remarks, the Apetumodu of Ipetumodu, Oba ‎James Adedokun Adegoke described Governor Rauf Aregbesola as a true democrat whose position as Governor has heralded unprecedented development in the state.

 

Oba Adegoke said the present administration has given due recognition to the development of the state particularly Ipetumodu, stressing that the ancient town has witnessed uncommon transformation.

According to the traditional ruler, the present administration has truly defined what government, governance and leadership are all about as this could be attested to by the developments witnessed so far.

“Since the creation of Osun, no government has kept to its electioneering campaign promises as being done by the present administration.

“We have seen true “Omoluabi”‎ ethos in all Aregbesola has done particularly in his commitment to promises made to the people of the state.‎

“This government has done so much for us and we really appreciate it because no government has ever been conscious of development as this government has demonstrated”, Oba Adegoke emphasised.‎

In his welcome address, the Commissioner for Education, Mr Wasiu Kolawole Omotunde-Young commended Governor Aregbesola for being committed to fight against educational decadence.

He said the present administration has not only given education a deserved attention but always making it the true bedrock of development.‎

The state education commissioner further explained that the school is designed as part of efforts to eradicate decadence in the education sector.

“This state-of-the-art government elementary school is designed and constructed to be a first class school aimed to eradicate decadence in the education sector.

“Our government has commissioned many of this school and we will still commission more as we are committed to the quality and functional education in the state”. He stressed.‎

In his remarks, the Chairman House Committee on Education in the State House of Assembly, Hon. Folorunso bamisayemi lauded Governor Aregbesola for his giant strides in all sectors of the economy particularly in the education sector.

Hon. Bamisayemi said the entire members of the state House of Assembly are proud to have Governor Aregbesola as his administration has brought all round development to the state.

The Chairman House Committee on Education expressed confidence in the present administration saying the House is proud that Governor Aregbesola judiciously utilized the loans which the House approved.

According to him, the administration of Governor Aregbesola has brought so much development to the state in terms of infrastructure, particularly of roads and schools.

“Aregbesola has shown high sense of prudency and transparency in the management of the state’s resources particularly on the money which the state borrowed.

“To us as legislators, we strongly believed that if the state did not borrow at the time it borrowed, many of these projects would have been impossible now, considering the exchange rate.

“As at the time we approved the loan, the exchange rate of naira to dollar was about, 150 dollar to 170 dollar but today exchange rate is about 350 dollar to 400 dollar, telling us that the state might not be able to either borrow at all or do as much as it did. With the benefit of hindsight, the loan has paid for itself”, he added.

Aregbesola Appoints Famoriyo As Tutor-General for Osun Central

The Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has approved
the appointment of Mr. Anthony Okunola Famoriyo as the new Permanent Secretary/ Tutor-General of Osun Central Education District.

Until his appointment, Famoriya was the the Principal, Saint Charles High School, Osogbo.

With this appointment, Aregbesola replaces the incumbent, Mr. Bunmi Obisesan who is due to retire from the public service in less than two weeks- November 14, 2017.

In a press release by the Head of Service, Dr. Festus Olowogboyega Oyebade, the new Tutor-General was selected owing to his experience and dedication to work, in addition to his good performance during the written and oral selection processes earlier carried out.

Ayedire Council Boss Assures Commitment On Education

The Executive Secretary, Ayedire Local Government, Otunba Mukaila Oladejo has assured students and teachers of the Local Government that his administration would continue to improve the standard of education.

He gave the assurance during a one-day seminar organized by CATO Food And Agro Allied Global Concept for female school students, in collaboration with the local government recently, saying, adequate attention to education sector would guarantee a better future.

Stressing the need for students to also be focused and committed to their education, he said this is the only way the commitment of the government both at the local government and state level could have the desired effect.

The council boss noted that the students should see themselves as the foundation on which the development of any county can be built upon.

He specifically charged female students not to see themselves as inferior to their male counterpart, saying, once they are empowered, they have the capacity to contribute meaningfully to the development of the society.

The representative of the CATO Food And Agro Allied Global Concept, Mr Pelumi Aribisala said, “building female children, is building the nation”, saying the capacity building would bridge the gap between male and female children.

Assuring that the organizer was determined to ensuring the follow up after the seminar, he said there is the need for monitoring to ensure that the purpose of the capacity building is served.

In attendance were members of the council Caretaker Management Committee, Ajayi Olusola, Adeleke Kabirat; Council Manager, Alhaji Akinyemi M A, among others.

Osun to Establish Volunteer Teaching Scheme

Dr. Olowogboyega Oyebade, the State Head of Service for Education has disclosed that a volunteer teaching Scheme aimed at galvanizing well-meaning individuals to spare their time in teaching High School students in the State of Osun is in the pipeline.

While addressing principals and teachers of A.D.S High School, Ejigbo and Baptist Middle/ High School, Ara, Dr. Olowogboyega Oyebade explained that the scheme, which would be driven by the Quality Assurance Agency, will need volunteer teachers in English Language, Mathematics, Core Sciences, including Further Mathematics and Agricultural Science.

He therefore charged all principals of schools to identify and seek the assurance of well meaning qualified individuals within their communities to help in lifting the standard of education.

He also advised all examiners of WAEC AND NECO among the teachers to share their marking guides with young teachers to assist them in teaching in line with requisite examiners’ requirements.

The volunteer teachers on the mission to Ejigbo and Ara in Egbedore Local Government area of the State include the State ANCOPPS President, Mr. Dahunsi Osundina who taught Biology, Mr. Leye Aina, the
Human Resources and Capacity Building Permanent Secretary, who took Geography and the Tutor- General for Osun East Education District, Mr. Adelani Aderinola who taught Physics.

Others in the entourage of the Head of Service include the Tutor- General, Osun West Education District, Mrs Grace Ajiboye, who taught English Language, The Coordinating Director, Ministry of Information and Strategy, Mrs Femi Webster- Esho, a Director in the Governor’s Office, Mr. Bayo Ojo and the Director, Senior Management Services in the Public Service office, Mr. Akintola were also in the team
.

Blazing The Trail In Education Sector

It is not a hyperbole to say the Governor Rauf Aregbesola-led administration in Osun has broken the perpetual yoke being experienced in the education sector prior to its inception. This report traces the steps that the administration has taken so far in the sector. Rauf Aregbesola-led administration in the State of Osun took over power on November 26, 2010, from the erstwhile Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola who ruled the state for the seven-and-half year. On the assumption of office, the administration summoned leading stars in the education sector, an initiative that witnessed the conveyance and presence of renowned academics, 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 was borne out of the well-thought-out conceptualised ideology that did not 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 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 a unarguably 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 pacesetting ideology, Ogbeni 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 is left out from his innovative ideology that culminated into the multitude of 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 the fact that the largest chunk of the state’s treasury had been concentrated on re-energizing 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 a non-negotiable priority of Aregbesola’s administration.

 

The available statistics revealed that eight Model Elementary schools were built and commissioned with 200 classrooms in Osun Central Senatorial District, whereas four out of these schools were built in Osogbo Local Government, one in Boripe Local Government, one in Odo-Otin Local Government, one in Irepodun Local Government and one in Orolu Local Government respectively with sum of N2billion.

 

It is on records that six Model Elementary schools were built and commissioned with 150 classrooms in Osun East Senatorial District where one was built in Ife Central Local Government, two in Ilesa East Local Government, one in Ilesa West Local Government, one in Atakunmosa West Local Government and one in Ife North Local Government with sum of N1.5billion.

 

Record also shows that six Model Elementary schools had so far been built and commissioned with 150 classrooms in Osun West Senatorial District, where two was built Iwo Local Government, one in Ayedaade Local Government, one in Ayedire Local Government and two in Ede South Local Government at the cost of N1.5 billion. Statistics has it that eight Model Middle schools were built and commissioned with 200 classrooms in Osun Central Senatorial District as three of them were located in Osogbo LG, one in Olorunda, one in Boripe, one in Ila, one in Ifelodun and one in Irepodun respectively with sum of N2billion.

 

Also, seven Model Middle schools were built and commissioned with 175 classrooms in Osun East Senatorial District with which one was built in Ife Central, one in Ife East, two in Ilesa East, one in Oriade, one in Obokun and one in Ife East Area Office (Modakeke), executed with sum of N1.8 billion. In Osun West, also built and commissioned within the same period are seven Model Middle schools with 175 classrooms, with one in Irewole, one in Ejigbo, two in Iwo, and two in Ayedaade at the cost of N1.8 billion.

 

Similarly, seven Model High schools were built at the sum of N4.9billion in Osun Central Senatorial District as Osogbo Local Government has five, Ila has one and Ifelodun has one respectively. Also in Osun East Senatorial District, two Model High Schools were built with which one is located in Ife Central and the other one in Ilesa East with the sum of N1.4billion. In Osun West, there are four Model High Schools built with one each in Ejigbo, Ede South, Iwo and Irewole local governments at the whopping cost of N2.8 billion.

 

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, just as more than 600 classrooms across 100 models schools were renovated in Osun West, Likewise, 21,048 sets furniture were supplied to the schools across the ten Local Government Areas in Osun Central Senatorial District and ý20,900 sets furniture was equally supplied to the schools across the ten Local Government Areas of Osun East Senatorial District, while 2,094 sets of furniture were supplied to schools across the local governments, local council development areas and area offices in Osun West.

 

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, just as more than 50,000 students have benefited in Osun West.

 

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.

 

Over 2,000 Osun Youth Employment Scheme (O’YES) cadets from Osun West were deployed to different schools as teachers, while about 1, 076 regular teachers were recruited.  About 900 teachers were trained in not less than 26 different training programmes and workshops organized with State resources. Also, more than 6,000 teaching and non-teaching staffers were promoted from the zone. 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 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.

 

In the Osun West, more than 84,000 pupils get fed daily under the O’MEAL school feeding programme through which over 1,000 cooks were employed and about 68,000 plates of delicious meals have been served since 2012 across 500 schools at the cost of N4.8 billion.  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 free to students in Osun East Senatorial District, just as about 300,000 school uniforms were distributed free to students across the 10 LGAs that constitute the Osun West Senatorial District so far.

 

Read Full Speech Of Governor Rauf Aregbesola At The Commissioning Of Ilesa Government High School And Distribution Of Card Omoluabi

SPEECH BY THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF OSUN, OGBENI RAUF AREGBESOLA, AT THE COMMISSIONING OF ILESA GOVERNMENT HIGH SCHOOL AND DISTRIBUTION OF KAADI OMOLUABI HELD AT THE SCHOOL’S PREMISES ON TUESDAY OCTOBER 24, 2017

Protocols,

THE MAKING OF THE EDUCATED PERSON

It gives me great pleasure to be in Ilesa, the City of God, for this historic occasion. We are gathered here to celebrate two notable achievements of our administration – the dedication of this imposing complex and the official presentation and distribution of Kaadi Omoluabi. We give God the glory!

After our inauguration in November 2010, one of the issues that became of serious concern for us was education. This is because what we met on ground was confounding. Many of the pupils were living like animals. This school, in particular, was notorious as a den of gangsters and juvenile cultists. It was not surprising then that the first SSSCE examination result that came immediately after our assumption of office confirmed our worst fears. Only 15.7 per cent passed the examination, that is, obtained five credits and above, including in English and Mathematics.

By February of the following year, we held an education summit presided over by Prof Wole Soyinka. All our interventions in education have come from the report of that summit.

One key point in the report is the environment of learning. A run down dilapidated school structure cannot be conducive to learning.

Our immediate task was to reclassify the schools into elementary, middle and high schools. Elementary Schools will be for the old primary 1-4, Middle School will include primary 5-6 and JSS1-3 while SSS1-3 becomes High School. We then put in place a policy to construct brand new state-of-the-art 100 Elementary Schools, 50 Middle Schools and 20 High Schools. Out of these, 20 Elementary Schools, 22 Middle Schools and 11 High Schools, including the one we are commissioning today, have been completed. In the High School category, we began the commissioning train with Wole Soyinka Government High School, in Ejigbo. Then we moved to Osogbo Government High School, Osogbo (formally Osogbo Grammar School). This was followed by Adventist Government High School Ede (formerly Seventh Day Adventist Grammar School) from where we moved to Ataoja Government High School, Osogbo (formerly Ataoja School of Science). Now we are here, in Ilesa, the City of God, in this beautiful complex, a theatre of dreams, to celebrate the hope of a better tomorrow for our children. For the pupils and teachers of this school, even more for the government, this is a dream come true. To God be the glory.

The school we are commissioning today is state-of-the-art. Many people when they see the picture, because it is so good, they argue it is computer generated graphics in 3D. Actually, it a 3,000 capacity three-in-one school. Each school has its principal with an overall senior principal.

The complex has 72 Classrooms of 49 square-meters each capable of sitting 49 students, 6 offices for study groups, 6 laboratories, 18 toilets for young ladies, 18 toilets for young men, 1 Science library, 1 Art Library, 1 Facility manager’s office, 1 Bookshop, 1 Sick Bay, 1 Bursar’s office, 3 Principals’ offices, 3 General Staff office, 1 Senior principal’s office, 1 Record store and 1 Security shed/Reception.

There is a total of 1000 square-meters of floor space Hall capable of sitting 1000 students for external examinations. This hall has storage for equipments, utility storage, a stage, office space, storage for documents, 4 female toilets and 4 male toilets.

For sporting activities, there is an Olympic sized football field, 7-lane sprinting tracks for 100 meters and 400 meters events, a pavilion and an outdoor Basketball court that doubles as tennis court.

The school has its own borehole, an electricity transformer and an ample parking space for at least 75 cars. Welcome to the new world of educational infrastructure in Osun.

The school cost N1.3 billion which includes the cost of furnishing, landscape and electronic boards.

I am happy and fulfilled that we have public schools that can compete with the best in the world and indeed, our new schools are the ones to beat around here.

All these are in fulfilment of our promise to provide functional basic education. This stems from our conviction that every child is owed basic education. It is a fundamental and inalienable right of every child. We have gone to this length and committed such huge amount on education because we are preparing for the future.

A good basic education fulfils the definition of literacy as the ability to read and write and is a solid foundation on which other superstructure of vocational training or higher education can be built. Having the ability to read means that one can receive information and systematised knowledge stored in various retrieval forms like books, digital electronic devices and by direct observation of events and phenomena. This includes the capacity to observe, understand and make sense out of nature, creation and one’s environment in the most basic form. To write means also that one can graphically reproduce one’s thought, observations, ideas and received knowledge in clear, free flowing prose, in at least one language.

We are therefore developing the new literate man, a man not just for himself but for the collective, who sees his own existence and value in light of other members of the society.

We have seen the future. Before our very eyes, advances in science and technology are changing our world and in the foreseeable future, we will see that those who are not well educated will be onlookers and will have no place in it.

Generally, the world is increasingly being defined and controlled by those who can think and bear their intellect on matter and any situation. The possibilities therefore look infinite for them.

In the next 10 years, knowledge would have transformed the world beyond recognition. Self-driving cars, running on battery, using zero fuel, and programmed with all the addresses will be in the market in commercial quantity. Nothing signposts the imminence of this new world of oil irrelevance than the recent ban placed on the production of internal combustion engines by the governments of some developed countries, including Britain, France and Korea.

In an unfolding increasingly digitised world, the mobile phone will act as medical scanner that will, more than the doctor, accurately diagnose illnesses and diseases and prescribe medication, reducing the need for hospital visits.

Robots are being developed to take over works in the farms, eliminating the need for manual labour and fuel guzzling heavy machinery. These robots will do all the physical works and more: weeding, planting, watering, carrying our security surveillance on farm and crops, deterring pests and thieves, carrying out soil test, adding soil additives, harvesting, processing, storing and transporting. The farmer just programmes and supervises.

Robots will also take over the manual labour in the construction industry.

With hydroponic technology, fruits and vegetables planted on artificial soil in trays that grow and mature in days have been developed for astronauts and are now being made available for the larger farming community.

Solar technology will become simplified and cheaper. This will make electricity abundantly available, practically eliminating the use of generators and internal combustion engines.

The overall consequence of all these is that low skill and menial jobs will be eliminated, meaning only highly skilled individuals would be relevant in this brave new world. This is the future we are preparing our children for. Any society without this vision is going to be backward and dependent when this future arrives.

What we are celebrating today is our preparation and indisputable position in that world.

These 11 high schools, by our projection, will each graduate 11,000 students every year.. In 10 years, they would have turned out 110,000 first rate students. In 50 years, that would be 550,000 world beaters, occupying strategic positions nationally and globally. This is our vision.

As a government, we have played our own part very well and we will do more if the need should arise. It is now left for parents and teachers to do their own part. Parents should provide the right examples to their children at home. They should let them realise the importance of education and that there is no reliable future outside of it. They should therefore prepare their children for school at the right time, help them dress properly and acceptably and prevent them from truancy.

Teachers should resume fully their role in the making of a completely educated person in learning and character. A teacher should deem himself or herself (and will be so adjudged by society) to have failed if his or her ward should fail examinations and be found wanting in character.

Teachers especially should show interest in the physical appearance of their pupils. It is very disheartening to see pupils in tattered, dirty, unironed and ill-fitting uniforms. Grooming is an important aspect of education. A teacher should be proud of the physical looks of their pupils.

When I went to school, our look and physical presentation were of serious importance to us. We had swagger! It distinguished us remarkably from those who did not go to school. We were stylish in the way we walk, the way we combed our hair and the way our uniform and other dressings fit our body. This affected our mannerism, phonetics, what we read, what we ate and the way we ate.

This is the grooming, the informal education that makes a complete educated person. I want to see this return to our schools. Indeed, the tenure and promotion of teachers will largely depend on the performance of their pupils, in learning and character.

I must not end this without acknowledging those who supported us and made all these possible. I will start from my able deputy, Iyaafin Grace Titi Laoye Tomori, who doubled as Commissioner for Education in our first term; the Commissioner for Education, Mr Kola Omotunde-Young, officials of the Ministry of Education and other education agencies of government; the Osun School Infrastructure Development Programme (O’Schools), our financial partners and especially our royal father, Owa Obokun Adimula of Ijesaland.

I must specially thank our financial partners, beginning from the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Chief Executive Officer of Lotus Capital Limited, Mrs Hajara Adeola, the Managing directors of the STL Trustees Limited and Sterling Assets Management and Trustees Limited, as well as representatives of investors to the State’s N11.4 billion Sukuk.

The success story we are celebrating today would not have been possible without the Sukuk, an asset-based capital market debt instrument, issued by the State in October 2013 (through Osun Sukuk Company Plc) under the auspices and approval of SEC.

I must thank all Ijesa people at home and abroad, particularly those who supported us from the inception to the completion of this project. More importantly, I thank the teachers and students of this school who are the real owners and for whom we have toiled.

I thank you all for your kind attention.

Osun a dara!

Osun Remains Trail-Blazing State In Education Sector – Reports

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.