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
Oyo govt. moves to intervene in Oluyole LGA schools
Oyo state government has approved the construction of new blocks of classrooms at two rural public schools, namely Methodist Basic School, Adeyipo Olomi-Yeye and Union of Ratibi, School 2, Idi-iroko, Oluyole Local Government Universal Basic Education Authourity, Ibadan.
Chairman, Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Dr. Nureni Adeniran disclosed this at Oluyole Local Government Area, during an on-the-spot inspection of the rural schools.
Adeniran disclosed at Olomi-Yeye in Oluyole local government area of the state that the construction would be enlisted as part of its 2019 FGN-UBEC/OYOSUBEB intervention project.
The visit was prompted by a viral post on the social media, which called for Oyo state government’s intervention in the sorry state of learning at Methodist Primary School, Olomi-Yeye, Ibadan.
Promising that the schools would also be provided with furniture and other needed facilities, the Chairman noted that “It is very pathetic to see these children learning under a bad condition like this”
Adeniran appreciated the good intent of users of social media, who posted pictures of the schools online, saying this has assisted the government in identifying such schools.
“When we saw this via the social media, we decided to visit this place promptly and see what we can do. We must sincerely thank the social media user who posted pictures of Methodist Basic School. That was what prompted our coming here today”, he added.
Dr. Adeniran reiterated the resolution of this administration to revamp the education sector, by strongly considering rural communities in the distribution of buildings and learning facilities.
He noted that the basic education sector is a component of development, which the present administration under Governor Seyi Makinde earnestly would change.
Dr Adeniran, who lauded the teachers for their dedication and kind gesture to the pupils said other rural schools in the State would enjoy such intervention, noting that the children also deserve to learn under conducive environment.
“We would ensure we give them a block of four classrooms with toilet facilities and borehole. Schools such as this deserve to enjoy what schools in the Urban region are enjoying too”, he added.
Oyo govt. sets to recruit 7,000 teachers, 3,600 non-teaching staff
The Oyo state governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde has given a directive to the Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) to recruit no fewer than 7,000 teachers; 2,000 non-teaching staff and 1,600 night guards.
This is coming six years after the government of Oyo State last recruited secondary school teachers.
The chairman of TESCOM, Pastor Akinade Alamu, who confirmed the development during a press conference on Tuesday, added that Governor Makinde equally directed that applicants should be given the forms free of charge.
The TESCOM boss also informed that the application form would be in circulation for two weeks after which the applicants will write an aptitude test.
He lauded the governor’s compassionate directive to give forms to applicants for free, adding that all applicants could access the forms at any of the six TESCOM zonal offices in the state and its headquarters at the Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan.
The zonal offices include; Ibadan Zone 1, Ibadan Zone 2, Saki, Ogbomoso, Oyo and Eruwa.
Alamu informed that applicants would only need to present their local government identification before they could get a form, hinting, however, that this was not by any means discriminatory or shutting the door against applicants who are not indigenes of Oyo State.
He said: “We received approval from His Excellency, Engineer Seyi Makinde, to recruit 7,000 teachers, 2,000 non-teaching staff and 1,600 night guards for all the schools in Oyo State and, immediately, we started the exercise. And we have gone to the press to place the advertisement.
“When the governor became aware that we were to collect N1,000 from each applicant, he gave a directive that the forms should be given freely to all applicants in the state. And, in his usual compassionate attitude, he said he would not want people coming from Saki, Kisi, Ogbomoso, Oyo and other distant areas to come down and pay 1,000 to the bank, wait for confirmation from the Accountant-General, before they finally come to obtain the form from us.
“He said he would not want people to undergo these rigours and that the forms should be given to all applicants free of charge. So, we have started that this morning.
“Also, the governor directed that the forms should be made available at all the zones in Oyo State. There are six zones and the head office is the seventh centre where the forms will be given to the applicants.
“The addresses of our offices are as follows: Ibadan Zone 1, Leaf Road, opposite NTC; Ibadan zone 2, Bishop Philips Academy, Iwo Road. People can go there to obtain the form. Oyo zone is located opposite Ajayi Crowther University’s main gate, Oyo. In Ogbomoso, they can obtain forms at the TESCOM zonal office, Atenda, Ogbomoso. At Saki, we have our office at the Old Teachers College. In Eruwa, they can get it at our zonal office located at the local government headquarters. People can also come to the headquarters here at Secretariat to obtain the forms. Nobody should collect any money from any applicant.
“However, what we want, which we think will serve as control is, people will have to come with their local government identification to obtain the forms. They will fill and submit the form to us, and after the closing of the exercise – that is in two weeks – we will announce the date for the examination. This is because we expect that there will be so many applicants and we know we won’t be able to conduct a face-to-face interview for all of them at once. So, there will be a computer-based test to prune down their number. All those that are qualified will later be invited for an interview after the examination.”
Responding to questions from newsmen, Pastor Alamu maintained that the government has put in a place the arrangement for applicants to present their local government identification even if they were not from Oyo State, noting that this would serve as a control for the system.
“As for whether people can obtain the form by proxy, let me say this, we have a system which we have put in place whereby you come with your local government identification card. This will serve as a control. And before you get the form, they will look at your local government identification. The name will be out on our register and we will give you a form on which the number of the form given to you will be recorded in our register.”
He added that the recruitment exercise was only being done through collection of forms in the seven locations, warning prospective applicants to be wary of arrangements that might lure them to paying fees for online recruitment.
He said: “Actually, doing it online is an option but we have started this and the governor has graciously, in his compassionate manner, said we should send these forms to the zones where people can obtain them without going to distant places. So, this is the arrangement we have put in place.
“As to whether you can bring your local government identification card even if you are not an indigene of Oyo State, we won’t say no. Bring it but it is the result of the weeding test that will tell us those who are qualified to take up this appointment or not. So, we are not discriminating at all but using a method to control, so that it won’t be open to people who are not even qualified.
“The forms are available from today to 24th of February. Some people, in anxiety, have gone to the banks to pay without getting clarification from us and I don’t think we will accept responsibility for such loss,” Alamu concluded.
Oyo govt suspends 13 head teachers, 2 AHMs, 1 teacher over alleged illegal collection of fees
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