THE lead story in today’s OSUN DEFENDER is profoundly disturbing. Kudos must be given to the investigative analysts who diligently focused on the debilitating environment in which impressionable youths at a decisive intersection have to learn. It is harrowing, unacceptable, and needs urgent attention.
The report restates the long-held position that our development thrust very rarely starts from the base. For this reason, all eyes are focused on the long-running dispute between the Academic Staff Union of the Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government. The contradiction in this misalignment is obvious.
The base entry point is decisive. Miss the foundation level and the rest is remedial. The universities, no matter how well equipped, cannot be expected to remedy foundational defects and inadequacies.
We should not be discussing this at all. As long as half of a century, those who set the development agenda like Gunnar Mrydal the Swedish economist, India’s founding Prime Minister, Jawarlal Pandit Nehru, had superbly put forward the position that the emphasis must be on the foundation, they were supported by people like Schumercha who argued that “small is beautiful” as well as the writer Arundahi Roy’s advocacy on behalf of the efficiency of the “God of Small things”.
The report shows that we are going against the conventional at a crucial intersection in the development process. For instance, only a month ago the outgoing government of President Uhuru Kenyatta in Kenya laudably and to worldwide applause committed Kenya to providing instructions in Coding from the age of four years old! This is a very important preparation for the economy they will enter eighteen or so years down the road. The State of Osun today is ludicrously going in the other direction.
The State Commissioner for Education should accept responsibility for the ineptitude and failure of management. The Commissioner demonstrably is not familiar with the dedication of maintenance culture, project management amongst other things.
A complete overhaul is needed. Committees of parents, teachers, old pupils, the government, civil society and the private sector must be set up and funded to mount a restoration. Funds can be raised through UNESCO, foreign aid departments of governments and foundations. In addition, Osun government should lay off self-serving side shows such as stoppage time “local government” elections and similar charade and redirect the saved funds into the restoration project.
Just yesterday, telecommunications giant, Globacom was in Oyo State to discuss a technology-driven education partnership with the state government. Can Osun do this with dilapidated infrastructure school environment”?
There is urgent need to begin to reverse the eyesore within to quote President Obama “the fierce urgency of now”. Enough is enough!