The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has announced 14th July 2018 and 22nd September 2018 as dates for Ekiti and Osun States Governorship Elections respectively.
Festus Adedayo’s article entitled ‘WAEC Results: Of Awo’s Mud Houses and Governor’s Model Greed’ (Sunday Tribune, August 20, 2017) refers.
Let me start by congratulating Adedayo for confessing the roles of “societal ills like fixing of results, hiring pliable invigilators and allied ills” in states’ actual performance in education. At least, rational minds can now understand why Osun prefers year-on-year performance in the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) results to WAEC rankings for planning purposes. Again, even if the writer was not bold enough to come clean on the state which, in his reckoning, “towers from behind on WAEC’s score sheets”, I have no doubt in my mind that his ignorance about developments in Osun needs some form of education.
That said, had Adedayo carried out a specific, not generalized evaluation of students’ performance in Nigeria, he most certainly would have realized that the case on hand and a hunchback’s awkward movement are identical. For instance, Rauf Aregbesola came into office as governor when almost all things were dull and ugly. Specifically, our school buildings were in such dilapidated forms that they were only fit for habitation by pests and rodents. As at 2010, the ‘performance level of students in WAEC’ was a miserable 15.7 per cent. With this sorry state of development, Aregbesola’s administration was of the view that, if our students must go to school at all, there was an urgent need to move from where we were to where we were supposed to be! In other words; and, for economic reasons, there was an urgent need for the administration to erect new structures, not only for the moment but also for the future. Of course, that was it all started!
Interestingly, these interventions have started bearing fruits. For instance, as at 2016, Osun’s performance level in WAEC has risen to 46.3 per cent which is quite a huge jump in the number of students with credit passes in English and Mathematics. A better performance is being keenly expected in 2017. Similarly, Osun has, since 2013, been featuring prominently between the first and third positions in the Joint Admissions Matriculation Board (JAMB) matriculatable students in Nigeria. Added to these is the higher level of enrollment and retention at the elementary school level which is due, largely, to the positive impact of the school feeding programme, aka O’MEAL. The totality of all these interventions has been a consistent increase in school certificate results since 2010. Yes, Osun is not there yet! But, with various interventions in the sector, it’s only a matter of time before ‘Hallelujah’ takes the centre stage!
For obvious reasons, Adedayo would remember World Bank’s recommendation of Peter Obi’s “model for Africa and other developing countries” but would easily forget the laurels, commendations, even recommendations garnered by Osun in appreciation of its laudable initiatives, latest of which was the recommendation of its O’MEAL scheme to other Nigerian states by United Nations International and Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF). Was our friend not in Nigeria when WAEC also recommended Osun’s Tablet of Knowledge (Opon Imo) to other states? A case of different strokes?
It is also “poor logic” on his part to have concluded that the learning environment has no bearing on the improvement in performance. On the contrary, if the former is conducive, chances are that the latter will be positively affected. Again, if Adedayo could condemn Aregbesola’s modest contributions to Nigeria’s education sector, one can only wonder what differentiates him from those “critics” of 1954 who accused Obafemi Awolowo of “opting for ‘substandard’ buildings.” Not only that, if “400,000 pupils turned up” for Awo’s scheme in 1955, “contrary to his projected 175,000”, has he carried out an assessment study of what O’MEAL has done for education in Osun?
The columnist contradicted himself when, in one breath, he likened Rotimi Amaechi’s “structures of primary and secondary schools” to “private universities in the west” while in another, he condemned Aregbesola for erecting “cozy buildings” in Osun! He also goofed when he brazenly accused “a governor in one of the south west states” of being “so obsessed with structures that he demolishes old school structures”. We challenge our friend to come real on those schools that were ‘demolished’ and the reasons behind their demolition. To the best of my knowledge, no school was demolished for the building of DTTC Middle School in Ijebu-Jesa; and I doubt if any “old school structure” was removed in Osogbo to pave the way for Osogbo Government High School. On ‘school uniform’, I believe that has been sufficiently addressed in Bolanle Bolawole’s column (See Sunday Tribune, August 6, 2017).
Let Adedayo also note that more than 12,000 new teachers were hired in 2012 to replace those who quit the service due to their disinterest in the Contributory Pension regime. In addition to streamlining and decentralizing the management of education for optimum performance, Aregbesola’s administration has also added 23 elementary schools and 22 middle schools to the existing structures while four out of 12 high school structures – all high-capacity schools – are already in use. More than 40 schools have also been completely refurbished in order to enhance the learning environment. The creation of three tutors-general and the about-to-be-created nine headmaster-general positions are aimed at paying sufficient attention to the early-stage development of pupils.
Of course, Adedayo failed to tell Nigerians what the once-rejected Awo’s free education went through – even in the west – before it eventually became the corner piece. He also erred in branding some states as champions in education! For God’s sake, is he aware that Edo and Ekiti States are far behind in the payment of pension allowances and salaries to their teachers?
Lastly, if Adedayo thinks that erection of “cozy structures” or “construction of roads and bridges” are synonymous with making “substantial billions of naira kick-backs”, then, Nigerians are expecting his ‘better ideas.’ But who will take our friend through some tutorials in building technology, especially with regard to the expansion and contraction characteristics of mud which limit its lifespan to a maximum of 40 years?
May principalities and powers assigned to rubbish our leaders’ efforts, scatter!
*Komolafe wrote in from Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State (firstname.lastname@example.org)
O20, Okenisa Street,
Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State.
The volunteers of the Federal Government N-Power initiative in Osun State have demanded the payment of backlogs of stipend of members, who have been verified but yet to receive their payment
An open letter written by the leadership of the volunteers in Osun state, and directed to a senior official of the programme, one Mr. Afolabi reads in part “the volunteers expressed worry and reservations on the main reason why payment of the backlogs of stipend for our members are still pending.”
They wondered why some volunteers who were verified in December like their counterparts in other states are denied payment up till this moment.
According to the letter, it is illogical and unfair for volunteers who have been verified and certified to still be owing their stipends while others who fall in that same category have been paid.
“Recently, we read in the media and all other available platforms of Npower the reaction of Mr Afolabi to the claim” of Lagos state N.power volunteers about their December stipend.
“While we might agree with Mr Afolabi that Lagos state and another state, Anambra, are not entitled to December stipends because they were not verified in December (except with the special intervention and plea of their state governments as emphasized some months ago by same Afolabi), we beg to make a case for some other states that were verified in December but yet to receive their December stipends”.
The State Government of Osun has concluded arrangements to provide about 648 healthy rams for the upcoming Eid-El-Kabir festival.
The programme tagged O’RAM done through the Selema Oloba Ranch, Iwo raises highly fattened rams breed and vaccinated within two months.
According to the Managing Director of Selema Oloba Ranch, Sola Omidiran, the 648 rams breed in the ranch were acquired from various parts of Nigeria’s northern region.
He explained that during the fattening period, animals add 15kg more weight to their system enhancing their capacity and body shape to provide more beef to its consumers.
Omidiran noted that in line with the government’s quest to generate revenue for the state, the company has attracted partnerships with a wide range of leading online stores to ensure adequate marketing for its animals.
His Words “In a bid to enhance our marketing strategies, we have gone to partner with varying online stores with our website https://www. selemafarmfresh.com, or online sites like Jumia, Ebano Supermaket, Red and Green Butchery and Lekki Farms.”
“With all what we are doing, we can assure you that we will give you value for money. There will be nowhere else you will find rams that are of good quality like these other than the Selema Farms. “
“We have animals in four different categories that are going for different prices that are for sale. We have the Bronze category of about 25-30kg for about N45,000; the Silva Category of 31-36kg for N60,000; Gold category of 37-43kg for N70,000 and the Platinum of 44-50kg for N80,000,” Omidiran stated.
Aside the rams, Omidina added that there are also goats, cattles as well as tomatoes, onions, pepper and the rest as part of the Fresh products under the Selema Farms Fresh category.
It will be recalled that the O’Rams and Livestock project is part of the multi various sectors of the Osun Rural Enterprise and Agricultural Programme O’REAP, a cardinal point of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola’s six-point integral action plan.
The assurance that the government of the State of Osun was committed to the payment of the outstanding parts of workers salaries was re-echoed last week, as the Chairman of the Osun Fund Allocation Committee, Comrade Hassan Sunmonu assured that the government would pay their outstanding salaries.
The Fund Allocation Committee, was set up by the Governor Rauf Aregbesola of the state, comprises of Labour leaders, government representatives and other stakeholders to allocate the government available fund to the payment of salaries, pension, allowances and other obligations.
Comrade Sunmonu who gave this assurance recently while appearing on the OSBC Television current affairs Yoruba programme, Kabenko commended the state government for using the funds available judiciously to take care of workers welfare and enumerations.
The labour leaders who commended the state government for the transparency brought into the system said, “there is no hidden agenda in government negotiation, if the money is available we are ready to pay all”.