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
Magu to Corps Members: ‘Always Think Like A Leader’
The acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, has challenged corps members to always think like leaders, saying such mindset would prepare them better for the leadership assignments ahead of them.
Magu gave the charge on Tuesday, at the orientation camp centre of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, Oyo State Directorate, in Iseyin.
The EFCC boss’ message was delivered by Friday Ebelo, zonal head of the Commission’s Ibadan office, during the orientation programme organised for the 2019 Batch ‘C’ (Stream 1) corps members.
According to him, the level of education attained by the corps members must reflect in their thinking and conduct as it is expected to help them impact their environment positively.
“Nigeria places high premium on you. You cannot afford to let it down. A true leader will always do things that will lift up the society and refrain from getting involved in act that will pull it down,” he said.
The anti-graft czar also advised them to have a clear vision about their future and explore all legitimate means to ensure that their goals are achieved.
Grow, don’t ‘blow’, EFCC boss, Magu admonishes Youth
The acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, has charged Nigerian youths to patiently follow their dream through to success and always stay away from criminal acts in order not to fall into the raging hand of the law.
Magu gave the charge at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife on Friday, while delivering the keynote address at the 2019 Symposium of the National Association of Philosophy Students (NAPS), OAU branch.
The EFCC boss, who was represented by the Zonal Head of the Commission’s Ibadan zonal office, Friday Ebelo, admonished the students to take their studies seriously and always look inwards to discover and nurture their talents to maturity. He added that with diligence and persistence success was sure for them.
He cautioned them against joining the band wagon of the quest to ‘blow’ – the modern slang that depicts desperation for quick wealth, insisting that such mental state could push them into committing crimes which may in turn cut short their dreams.
“At the individual level, every youth must shun all temptation to be corrupt or be corrupted by any means. They must realise that the only way to success is hard work. The fast way only leads to destruction. GROW, don’t BLOW! An attempt to sacrifice steady growth on the alter of a ‘blowing success’ is an invitation to self-destruct,” he noted.
While lamenting the disturbing trend in the involvement of the Nigerian youths in internet-related crimes, Magu challenged them to re-direct their energy into positive activities that will benefit them and the Nigerian nation.
He said the EFCC is doing its best to ensure that the exceptional talents of the Nigerian youths are properly harnessed and put into appropriate use in the nation building efforts.
The EFCC team was earlier welcomed to the institution by the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede.
The professor of medicine lauded the efforts of the anti-graft agency in ridding the Nigerian society of economic and financial crimes.
He hunted that the university would at a latter date organise the students in a larger scale to provide an avenue through which the commission would better and more effectively deliver its anti-corruption message to members of the OAU community.
Tech-U Signs Collaborative Agreement with Girne American University, Cyprus
In furtherance of its goal to internationalize its programmes and produce highly competent graduates, Nigeria’s premier technical university, First Technical University, Ibadan, has signed a collaborative degree programme agreement with Girne American University in Cyprus.
With this collaboration, interested undergraduates now have the choice of spending their first three or four years in Tech-U, depending on the course being studied, and thereafter proceed to Cyprus to complete their degree programmes in GAU.
There is also the “top up” agreement through which students can complete their courses at Tech-U and apply to complete their Masters degrees in GAU.
Located in Kyrenia, Northern Cyprus, GAU, is Cyprus’ top-ranked University noted for its demonstrable leadership in science, technology and innovation.
The programme is approved and coordinated by the National Universities Commission (NUC).
Speaking at the signing of the collaboration, Dr. Serhat Akpinar, the Chancellor of the Cyprus-based University expressed his delight at the partnership and pledged his unwavering commitment to the success of the programme, which would also involve partnership in research and faculty members’ exchange.
Present at the ceremony which held in Girne, Cyprus, were the representatives of partner institutions and the Director of Skills Development and Entrepreneurship, NUC, Mrs. Constance Goddy-Nnadi, who also represented the Commission’s Executive Secretary.
Mrs. Goddy-Nnadi agreed that the union will promote capacity-building and quality knowledge acquisition by Nigerian lecturers and students.
In his remarks, Tech-U’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Ayobami Salami, affirmed that the partnership is in line with Tech-U’s vision of producing students who will not only change the diminishing job equation but also become key players within the national and international spaces.
The agreement with GAU is coming a year after Tech-U signed an MOU on exchange programmes with Texas Technical University, USA.
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