The Governor of Osun, Adegboyega Oyetola, on Saturday said the reforms made by his Administration in the education sector
was not in any way targeted at anyone.
He said the reforms were aimed at setting the right direction for education in line with the desires and aspirations of the people, including the restoration of the 6-3-3-4 system which is in conformity with the National Policy on Education.
Oyetola reiterated that education remains the backbone of his Administration’s Development Agenda, hence the prompt intervention that had ensured the provision of quality, affordable, equitable and functional education across all the sectors of the State.
This is even as the old students of Ilesa Grammar School applauded the Governor for his rare courage and boldness to reverse some of the education policies considered inimical to the tenets and principles of State and national education policy.
Governor Oyetola spoke at the inauguration of the newly-renovated block of six classrooms in Ilesa Grammar School, Ilesa.
The newly-renovated block of six classrooms was undertaken and funded by the 1966-1970 set of Ilesa Grammar School as part of their social responsibility and community service to mark the 50th anniversary of their graduation from the citadel of learning.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Governor Oyetola said the decision to review some extant policies in the education sector was in response to the demands of Osun people and relevant stakeholders, including old students’ association of Ilesa Grammar School, that not only expressed their reservation for what was done in the past, but even took the government to court.
Oyetola said the decision was arrived at having painstakingly assessed the popular demands of individuals and critical stakeholders who also kicked against the merger of schools and change of uniforms.
He added that his Administration’s policies and programmes are driven by citizens’ needs and demands saying, ” I am happy to report here today that we have harkened to your voice of reason and the old things have all passed away.”
Enumerating some of the critical interventions made to revamp the education sector in the last three years of his Administration, Oyetola said, “We have demonstrated our commitment to improving the education system in Osun, including provision of free tuition at primary and secondary school levels, renovation of school buildings across the state, provision of educational materials to school children, sustenance of free feeding for pupils, training and re-training of teachers, and the recent recruitment of 1, 000 new teachers among other interventions.”
While applauding members of the 1966-1970 students of Ilesa Grammar School for giving back to their alma mater, Governor Oyetola said the renovation of the classrooms would contribute in no small measure to the quality of teaching and learning in the school.
He said the provision of quality, qualitative and functional education was a duty of all, hence the need for corporate organisations and well-meaning citizens to rise up to the occasion and support government in its efforts to reposition the sector.
Governor Oyetola called on well-meaning citizens, particularly old students of various public schools across the State, to imbibe the culture of giving back to the society as part of their corporate social responsibility and community service.
“Rest assured that our government is ready to partner with groups or organizations to boost all-round development of our State.
“As I have always reiterated, education is the backbone of our administration’s Development Agenda. We are therefore committed to the provision of quality, affordable, equitable and functional education.
“This initiative is based on our conviction that Osun children are our greatest asset and resource, hence the need to give them a solid foundation that will birth a bright and rewarding future for them”, Oyetola added.
Earlier in her remarks, the Chairman, 1966-1970 set of Ilesa Grammar School Old Students Association, Alhaja Nusirat Bakare, lauded Governor Oyetola for allowing reason to prevail and for restoring the glory, grace, honour and foremost position of Ilesa Grammar School in the annals of education in the State.
“It is on record that we challenged the change of the name of the school by the previous administration in court. There was strained relationship between the then government, under Governor Rauf Aregbesola, and Ilesa Grammar School. To the glory of God, the coming to power of the Administration of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, changed the story for good.
“Our presence in this hall today is a testimony and a manifestation of the new positive narrative that gladdens our heart. As a result of the change in the policy of education in the State by the Oyetola Administration, and subsequent reversal of some of the actions of the previous Administration, our school resurrected.
“While the unfortunate closure lasted, buildings and structures in the school degenerated. As it is characteristic of abandoned facilities, the classrooms became dilapidated, providing habitation for rodents, reptiles and shades of characters”, she added.
Other speakers at the occasion commended the Governor for restoring the identity of public schools that had hitherto been bastardised by the previous Administration.