I have painstakingly read Dr. Festus Adedayo’s piece under reference and my learned colleague, Aare Isiaka Abiola Olagunju’s rejoinder to same.
On this, I stand and align with Dr. Adedayo.
A careful and thorough reading of Dr. Adedayo’s article in question would reveal that it was a very balanced one and had seriously considered and dealt with fairly all the fears and issues raised by Aare Olagunju, that one would even be worried whether there is any need for that rejoinder as it seems to be unwarranted and merely whipping up mere sentiments and emotions.
I am a product of the free education programme introduced by the UPN led government in Oyo State.
May the good Lord continue to grant our Mentor, Benefactor and Role Model, Uncle Bola Ige eternal rest. He and the other UPN Governors meant well for the children of the poor ( including my humble self) , but the policy was poorly executed and I will use my own school, Urban Day Grammar School, Elekuro, Ibadan, Oyo State of Nigeria as a case study.
The school, UDGS, Elekuro, Ibadan was founded in 1980 and we were the pioneer students. That year we were all offered automatic admission into the school like all other schools as the UPN government cancelled the common entrance examinations into secondary schools across the state. Admission was thus an all,-comers affairs which was the basis of the weak foundational structure of that policy. Promotion exams were also almost automatic until General Oladayo Popoola who became the Military Governor in 1984 reversed that ugly trend. May the good Lord continue to bless that fine officer and a Gentleman who is still alive.
Biola, in UDGS Elekuro, beside our School Principal, Mr. Israel O. Fagbemi (now of blessed memory) who was a university graduate, all other teachers in our school are Grade II and Associate Teachers.
In actual fact, we did not have any graduate in UDGS until we got to Form 4 when we had Mr. Oni and Miss Akintide (of blessed memory) as our Chemistry and Economic teachers respectively .
Until we passed out in 1985, we didn’t have any graduate teacher to teach us English Language and Literature in English.
In years 1, 2 and 3 , Yorubas were being used to teach us almost all the subjects as our teachers too were not good in English Language. They were good teachers no doubt as they always struggled to cram and just poured out the subjects on is without themselves to unable to understand what they were teaching us. We used to call them “agberu-gbeso”.
We didn’t have science laboratory until the third term of Form 4.
You will agree with me that the dismal and woeful results of the WASCE May/June 1985 was due to the poor foundation of that free education policy.
In my school, only 2 students had P7 and P8 in English Language as all others made F9. It was that woeful.
Aare, you will agree with me that we were used as guinea pigs by the government as no member of that government sent any of their children or wards to the types of our several urban days or community schools they established in 1980.
It was by the providential grace of God coupled with our determination to succeed that negligible numbers among us made it to higher institutions as the greatest proportion of that educational policy have been consigned to uncertificated school certificate drop-out for life.
You will also agree with me also that even till date, that weak foundational structure in our secondary schools are still obvious in the oral English of most if not all the products of those Urban Days and Community Schools.
Dr. Adedayo was right when he quoted that Yoruba proverb that ” A charm obtained ex-gratis would be handled and treated with levity and as trivially unimportant by the beneficiary.” That is also the case with free education.
Engineer Seyi Makinde, the Governor of Oyo State should please, in the overall interest of the state and for good governance , stop playing to the gallery.
Even in 1979, our parents were asked to pay Development Levy as distinct from the compulsory poll tax before their children could benefit from the said free education. This clearly shows that there is nothing that is free, even in Freetown.
Engineer Makinde should embrace and restore the N3,000 levy or may even reduce it to N1,000, but its outright cancellation was done in bad faith and for other primordial considerations that are not in the interest of the pupils, parents, teachers and the educational system in Oyo State.
The Immediate Past Governor and the father of the modern Oyo State put in place some laudable policies for the state educational system which must be sustained if we want to transform Oyo State educational system and such include the School Governing Board System and the re-introduction of the Inspectorate system in Schools.
With the current school enrolment and large number of schools in Oyo State and any other state in the South-Western states, it would be preposterous to introduce free education at any level in this age and time. Any attempt to do so would be providing the children with QUANTITATIVE and not QUALITATIVE EDUCATION.
By Asiwaju Mutalubi Ojo Adebayo
Former Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Oyo State
Makinde to reintroduce Open-Day in Public Primary Schools in Oyo
The Seyi Makinde led Oyo state government has announced plans to reintroduce Open-day system in public primary schools across the State.
The government through the Chairman, Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board, Dr. Nureni Adeniran disclosed this during a State-wide interactive session with Head-teachers, recently.
Dr. Adeniran opined that Open-day, when introduced will give parents opportunity to visit their children in schools, where they would get first-hand insights into their children’s performance and speak to their teachers on how to further improve those children.
He added that the state government will also employ more strategies as part of measures to complement its absolute commitment to improve the basic education sector.
Adeniran also averred that the reintroduced system would be an improved adaptation of the moribund open-day, noting that the system would make parents more responsible towards their children in public schools.
“We will reintroduce Open-day system back to our public schools, because we realized that this would complement Governor Seyi Makinde’s free education policy. Parents need to be responsible for their children’s progress in schools”, he said.
He added emphatically that, “One of the things Oyo State Government has done, is to improve the standard of education system”.
While Dr. Adeniran stressed that being a teacher requires patience and great discipline, he urged teachers to ensure their pupils compete favorably with their contemporaries in reading and writing skills.
He said that the State Government is open to suggestions and ideas that would further build capacity of the teaching workforce in Oyo State.
He noted that the present Government is doing so much to improve pupils’ reading culture, by providing Running grants to schools, building facilities among others.
The SUBEB boss revealed that the state government is presently seeking more ways of improving the lot of teachers, especially those in the rural areas, while he stressed that education remains the greatest asset the state government can bequeath its citizens.
Sanwo-Olu, Oduwole, C&I Leasing Discuss Strategies on Improving Girl Child Education
The Lagos state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, recently hosted Zuriel Oduwole, filmmaker and global girl child advocate along with representatives of C&I Leasing Plc (C&I Leasing), a business service conglomerate.
The meeting which took place at the State House in Marina, Lagos, was set up to discuss strategies aimed at improving child education in public schools across the state, with an emphasis on the girl child.
Remarking, Governor Sanwo-Olu lauded Zuriel for her role in championing child education across the African continent and beyond, even as he expressed the state’s readiness to collaborate with the filmmaker and her partners on initiatives that would have deep seated impact in the lives of children in public primary schools.
Quoting statistics, Sanwo-Olu said Lagos represents 0.4% of Nigeria’s territorial landmass with more public primary schools than in Ghana, hence the need for long lasting reforms in the state’s education system.
The governor said the ongoing Excellence in Child Education and Learning project dubbed “EKO EXCEL,” was launched to establish a culture of learning, while bridging the communication gap between teachers and thousands of students across the 1,016 public primary schools in the state.
Responding, Zuriel, brand ambassador of Hertz Nigeria, a franchise car rental company operated by C&I Leasing Plc, spoke on her double-pronged vision of having the government infuse practical, skills-based learning and e-learning courses into public school curriculums in the state.
She expressed confidence that children could at a young age be nurtured to explore their creativity by learning practical skills such as filmmaking, thus setting them up to make a living for themselves in the near future- a cause she informed the governor she was willing to pursue at sub-national level.
Also speaking during the visit, Maureen Ogbonna, Group Head, Research and strategy at C&I Leasing Plc, commended the Lagos state governor for the impactful initiatives put in place to reverse the trend of education inequities state-wide.
Ogbonna further reiterated C&I Leasing’s commitment to continuously support commendable projects aimed at empowering children with quality education, while also exploring youth employability and skills development initiatives in line with the company’s Corporate Responsibility (CSR) framework.
Exclusive: Ibarapa Poly SUG frowns at ‘unjust harassment of female student’ by lecturer, seeks justice
The Ibarapa Polytechnic Students’ Union Government (SUG) on Wednesday frowned at what it described as an unjust harassment of one of the institution’s female students identified as Olufunke (Surname withheld) of HND I, Mass Communication Department by Dr Adegbenjo Adewale Oladapo, a lecturer in the department of mechanical engineering.
Oladapo, who is said to also chairs the ASUP union of the school, was said to have slapped the female student over an alleged ‘Immoral Dressing. The Students’ Union, however dismissed the lecturer’s claim, describing it as baseless and untrue.
Also, the SUG has given a three-day ultimatum to the lecturer to tender unreserved apology to the assaulted student .
The SUG, in a press statement jointly signed by its President, Comrade Ashaolu Victor Samuel and Comrade Abdulrauf Abdulazeez ( Public Relations Officer) on Wednesday in Eruwa and made available to Mega Icon Magazine reads in part, “as a matter of fact, the whole students populace have expressed their annoyance at this development, bringing up complaints of same nature about same Dr Adegbenjo Adewale Oladapo in times past. Consequently, we specifically establish that such action of Dr Adegbenjo is illegal, unjust and unbecoming of man of his cadre.
“Apparently, the leadership of the SUG stands to express our displeasure and dismay on the issue as it is a big slap on our face. We firmly demand Dr Adegbenjo Adewale Oladapo, ASUP Chairman, Lecturer in Mechanical Department to publicly make unreserved apology to the assaulted student of HND 1, Mass Communication Department within 3 days of this message”.
Efforts to speak with the institution’s Public Relations Officer, Mr Olayiwola through his cell phone number – 234 810 353 2776 was unsuccessful as his phone was switched off as at press time.
But, our reporter on Thursday morning learnt that Mr Olayiwola had been replaced by Mr Adisa Oketayo as the new Public Relations Officer of the institution.
Confirming the development through a telephone conversation, Oketayo said the Students protested on Monday at the Acting Rector’s office but he later saw the news on the social media platform yesterday’s evening.
Oketayo, however maintained that he has not been briefed about the matter.
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