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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: Emmanuel Alayande gets full accreditation for degree, NCE courses
The National Universities Commission (NUC) and the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) have granted full accreditation statuses to all the degree and NCE courses being run by the Emmanuel Alayande College of Education, Oyo.
It would be recalled that the school was running Bachelor degree programmes in affiliation with the Ekiti State University, Ekiti (EKSU).
The institution’s Provost, Dr. Rasak Adetunji Adefabi, informed that the National University Commission communicated the body’s position via a letter reference no NUC/ES/412/Vol.2/160 dated 19 March, 2020 after it conducted the accreditation exercise in the College in December, 2019 addressed to the Vice Chancellor, Ekiti State University, a copy of which was sent to his office.
The Provost added that the College can now boast of seventeen (17) bachelor’s degree programmes altogether with full accreditation.
Also, interesting twist about the accreditation was the excellent performance the College achieved in the year 2019 NUC accreditation exercise carried out on the College. He stressed that the NUC Technical Committee’s report clearly revealed that the College did not score below 85% in any of the accredited degree courses.
Similarly, the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), had also approved and granted full accreditation statuses to three (3) new NCE programmes of the College. Updating the general public about the new outstanding academic feat recorded by Emmanuel Alayande College of Education, Oyo on her NCE programmes, Adefabi listed the following three additional new courses recently floated by the college as :
1. Special Needs Education
2. Adult & Non-Formal Education
3. Theatre Arts Education
He further reported that the NCCE announced this in a letter dated 4 March, 2020 after its Accreditation Team had visited the College between 24 – 28 November, 2019 for the purpose of institutional and academic accreditation. This update has therefore raised the number of courses run by the College to thirty one (31) – all fully accredited.
The Provost commended Governor Seyi Makinde for his commitments and support to the College particularly in the consistent and regular payment of staff salaries which he claimed had improved staff commitments to duty.
“In effect, these two feats could not have been achieved but for the unwavering support the College had been receiving from the Oyo State Government under the unparalleled watch of our amiable Governor, Oluseyi Abiodun Makinde. This is no mean an unprecedented feat in the annals of our College”, the Provost stated.
Dr. Adefabi, however thanked his Management Team, Academic and Non-Academic Staff, Students and members of the College Community for their unflinching support, noting that the new feat had given Emmanuel Alayande College of Education, Oyo an enviable rating among the comity of Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria and beyond and in fulfilment of the College vision statement.
Ibadan Poly unveils Nigerian made ventilator, automated handwashing machine
The Polytechnic Ibadan, on Thursday unveiled made in Nigeria mechanical ventilator and automated hand washing machine produced by the department of Mechatronics Engineering.
The development, according to the institution, is aimed at combating the COVID-19 disease in the country and other related diseases. The ventilator is an essential equipment in the treatment of coronavirus patients and went through all necessary procedures. It was tested at the University College Hospital, Ibadan (UCH) last week.
The research team who carried out the development under the Deanship of Engr. Tijani B.O and the Rectorship of Prof. Adebiyi Kazeem include; Engr. Olaiya Kamourudeen, Mr. Olanlere Oladeji, Mr. Oluokun Tolulope, Engr. Bello Abdulrahaman, Mr. Sanusi Babatunde, Mr. Azeez O.R, Mr. Ajayeoba Israel and a consultant from the University College Hospital, Ibadan, (UCH) Dr. Adebayo Oluwaseun. Interestingly, these students are still undergoing their Ordinary National Diploma (OND).
It was also gathered that the ventilator and hand washing machine housing a dryer, were among the new innovations of the department which has just been accredited to run Higher National Diploma (HND) Programme.
The citadel of learning has equally produced hand sanitizer and face mask which were donated to the Oyo state government in support of the fight against coronavirus pandemic.
According to the Rector, Prof. Kazeem Adebiyi, while addressing newsmen shortly after unveiling the devices, informed that the institution In its bid to complement the efforts of the government in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, produced mechanical ventilator and smart hand washers.
Adebiyi disclosed that the institution spent about N2,000,000 (Two million naira) to produce the ventilator, noting that the cost will be lesser if it was a mass production process. He lauded the Seyi Makindele led government for releasing grant to the institution which he claimed made it possible for the management to embark on several projects that were long overdue.
He stressed that this was the first time since 2009 that the institution would receive grant from the state government to embark on accreditation process, adding that before now, the management sometimes go as far as taking loans from banks for accreditation.
“We are just using this avenue to appreciate the government for what they have done for us. When we received the letter from NBTE that we passed all our accreditation, we were very joyful. We did accreditation for thirteen programmes and we passed all the thirteen programmes.
“Also, we did three professional accreditation programmes which we passed and that looked like magic to everybody that how were we able to achieve that and then we said, since we have the support of the government.
“When we looked at the records, the last time the institution benefitted from such accreditation grant from government was in 2009 and when the present government came on board, we were bothered because about fifteen to sixteen of our programmes were due for accreditation.
“I said, look, lets go and meet the governor, they asked if I was sure because we have not received anything from them in years, but I insisted that we make a trial.
“The governor approved our request immediately and the grant was used judiciously for various needs; we procured necessary equipments, renovated buildings, secured accreditation for programmes, among others”, the Rector added.
Also commenting, Israel Ajayeoba, a student who was part of the research team, said the mechanical ventilator was designed in a way that it can be adjusted depending on the rate at which the patient needs it.
COVID-19: Oyo student builds solar-powered automatic hand washing, rinsing, drying unit
In his bid to help prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), a 300 level student of the department of Physics with Electronics, Ajayi Crowther University, Aderinola Joshua has built a solar-powered automatic hand washing, rinsing, and drying, a project that was commended by the Oyo state government.
During the display of the project, which was held at the ministry of education on Tuesday, the Special Assistant to Governor Seyi Makinde on Students’ Matters, Mr. Olojede Victor who lauded the initiative, also described the development as a thing of joy to see students in the state rising to contribute their own quota to support the government at this trying time.
The governor’s aide further emphasized that he will ensure that government at all levels in the state partner with the young, brilliant student and also see that the project is well executed for use in the State. Olojede also assured that through his office, the state government will continue to promote and support the innovation of students.
Present at the test running of the prototype, the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Olabamiwo Adeosun commended the student for making judicious use of the pandemic period to proffer a stress-free measure to prevent COVID-19.
Also commenting, the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Chief Bisi Ilaka in his remarks applauded the inventor for a job well done, just as he enjoined other students to emulate their colleague who has made the entire student populace proud.
The Permanent Secretary, Education, Science and Technology, Mrs. Aminat Atere congratulated the student for taking the opportunity of the pandemic to think of this great initiative.
“I want to appreciate you for this laudable innovation, more importantly at a time when our youths are into internet frauds. You have created an idea that if the state government key into will also make you an employer of labour.”
Others at the event included, Commissioner for Education, Mr. Olasunkanmi Aremu Olaleye, Deputy Chief of Staff , Mr. Olawale Mogbonjubola, Directors at the ministry of Education, Science, and Technology, Executive Adviser to the governor on Agric business, Mr. Debo Akande, among others.
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