THERE is a noticeable regression in the Public Education in the State of Osun.
The retrogression is confirmed in the performance of the public school students in both internal and external examinations.
Investigations reveal that there is a sharp persistent decline in the performance of public school students in the West African Examination Council (WAEC) from 2019 to 2022.
The statistical analysis of the National Bureau of Statistics on WAEC performance of students of both private and public schools in each of the state indicates that Osun has been witnessing a worrying setback in student performance since 2019.
The NBS’s analysis is based on the number of students that have five credits and above, including Mathematics and English language.
According to the NBS analysis, Osun has also been recording sharp reduction in number of students that sat for WAEC in public schools since 2019.
In 2019, the total number of public school students that sat for WAEC was 16,248, a sharp drop from 36,171 students in 2018.
The figure also dropped in 2020 as only a total of 14,324 students sat for WAEC in public schools.
In 2021, the total number of students that undertook WAEC in public school declined to 12, 443, which is the lowest for over 16 years.
Osun was ranked 32.6% to come 36th position among states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja whose public school students had five credits and above, including mathematic and English language, in the 2021 WAEC result.
The state has steadily been maintaining 40% and above performance in WAEC
OSUN DEFENDER notes that the state had its best record in WAEC performance between 2016 and 2019.
This is just as the state recorded 113% improvement in WAEC performance in a 10-year analysis of 2006 and 2016.
In 2016, Osun recorded 45.5% and 50.16% in 2019, the highest performance in the history of the state.
Osun was ranked 24th position in a five-year (2014-2018) analysis of students’ performance in WAEC by two researchers in the Department of Mathematics, Federal College of Education (Technical), Omoku, Rivers State.
In the analysis titled, “State Based Analysis of Candidates WASSCE participation And Achievement Of Five Credits Passes And Above Including Mathematics And English Language In Nigeria”, Osun had remarkable improvement from the abysmal state it was in 2010.
The report was published in June 2020 by International Journal of Advanced Academic Research (Sciences, Technology and Engineering), Vol.6, Issue 6.
However, retrogression began in 2020 as it recorded just 4.78%. Only 686 of 14, 324 students that sat for WAEC in the public schools had five credits and above, including mathematic and English language.
Of the 12,443 that sat for the 2021 WAEC, only 4,051 had five credits and above, including mathematic and English language, constituting 32.55%.
The 2022 WAEC performance analysis is not yet published.
OSUN DEFENDER notes that the investment of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola’s administration in education sector was responsible for the remarkable improvement in the quality of public education in the state.
Before Aregbesola’s emergence in 2010, the highest performance of Osun public school students in WAEC was 15.68%.
The state recorded 10.91 in 2006, 6.86% in 2007, 10.11% in 2008, 13.98% in 2009, 15.68% in 2010, 21.9% in 2011, 22.21% in 2012, 20.54% in 2013, 18.55% in 2014 and 21.64% in 2015.
The performance of the state improved to 45.5% in 2016 with a short decline of 43.50% and 40.85% in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
However, there was laudable improvement in 2019 May/June WAEC performance as the state recorded 50.16%.
But the law of diminishing return seems to have set in for the state as it descends from 2019’s 50.16% to 4.78% in 2020 and 32.55% in 2021.
According to some educationists, the NBS’s reports show that the education policy reversal embarked upon by Governor Adegboyega’s Oyetola’s administration, has contributed negative impact in the quality of education in the state.
The educationists summited that the Oyetola’s administration has done more damage to public education than good, saying the confusion it creates in education sector was responsible for the poor performance in WAEC.
All the education polices put in place by the Aregbesola’s administration to ensure quality education delivery were reversed by Oyetola.
Bring Back Opon-Imo, Educationist Charges Governor-Elect
A renowned educationist, Arch. Goke Omigbodun, has charged the Governor-elect, Sen. Ademola Adeleke, to revive the tablet of knowledge known as Opon-Imo, which was innovatively introduced to the public education by Aregbesola’s administration.
Omigbodun who was reacting to the poor performance of Osun in the 2021 WAEC, expressed his displeasure in the ranking of the state.
In a statement made available to OSUN DEFENDER on Wednesday, Omigbodun attributed the decline in the quality of public education in the state to discouragement of teachers and lack of monitoring on the part of the state government.
He said, “Public School Teachers are not encouraged enough. Chants about outstanding half-pays of serving public schools teachers, and gratuities/pensions of the retired ones, now sound like repeated lyrics of broken radiogram record discs. Yet, until the issues are addressed, only some Private Schools in the State will continue to engage the public schools’ teachers as adjuncts to get the best from them.
“The older ones amongst the public schools’ teachers are so afraid of shoddy treatment in retirement now that the best from them is given for additional payments from private schools, against the rainy days of delayed or non-payment of gratuities and pensions.
“The public schools’ teachers are not well monitored to ensure their full delivery of curriculum, lesson plans/notes and productive co-curricular stimulus variation activities for the students.
“The incoming administration of Senator Ademola Adeleke should dust up the soft content of former Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s “Opon-Imo”, and deploy online to students who may rely on media devices of their school libraries and parents at home, for easy regular access, and probable interactions.
“Schools without e-learning fitted libraries should be thus provided by the government, concerned old students, faith-based organizations and other non-State actors. Dilapidated structures of classrooms and laboratories may also be thus refurbished.”
Oyetola Destructively Handled Education System – PDP
Reacting to the 2021 WAEC performance, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the State condemns Oyetola for what it describes as ‘destructive handling of the education system’.
The PDP said Oyetola’s poor handling of the education system culminated into the very shameful placement of the state in the recently released performance ranking by the West African Examination Council (WAEC).
The PDP, in a release signed by its Caretaker Chairman, Dr. Akindele Adekunle, asked Osun government to apologise to the people of the state on the outcome of the 2021 WEAC result.
The party recalls how it had severally advised Oyetola on the need to priotise curriculum based teaching policy over ego massaging or artificial policies which had accumulated negative impacts on the school system in the state.
The statement reads, “For long, the state government had rebuffed all wise counsels to employ competent professionals to fill existing vacancies in key subjects in almost all Public Secondary Schools in the state, in a bid to avert the present disaster.
“The State government had also, over time, under our Mr “silent achiever”, appeared more comfortable rigmaroling with unprofitable cosmetics in the system, instead of developmental initiatives, capable of assisting school principals and the teaching staff to aide students’ learning. The result we witness today can therefore not be a magic of the devil
“What more, Oyetola is happy expending parts of the funds expected to be used to revamp badly bleeding education sector in the state on illegal local government election that will surely fall flat. These are steams of misplaced priorities for which innocent students are being made to suffer heartache and bleak future through faulty education.”