The Hidden Facts and Happenings In Osun Education and Its Consequences II
Prior to my discussing the Facts/Happenings in Osun Education and their Consequences during Omooba Olagunsoye Oyinlola’s regime, I owe the over-whelming majority of people who read and shared our past Articles a gratitude for doing so. I believe we are all striving for the same course (Best Education for All in Osun State). I as well appreciate those who sent in their Comments; Recommendations; Encouraging Words; Criticisms; and the likes. It is necessary that I make it very clear to us all that these Articles are not written to undermine or sabotage the efforts, actions, and policies of both the Past and the Present Administration, but they are aimed at opening the eyes of the present Administration to the real Problems they ought to tackle and also to help whoever comes in as a Governor or Commissioner of Education of the subsequent Administration(s) understand the Osun Education Challenges and how best to address them.
Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola was the Executive Governor of Osun State from May 2003 to November 2010 under the umbrella of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). I was writing either WAEC or NECO when he became the Executive Governor of the State. During his Campaigns for the post of Governor, Omooba Olagunsoye bluntly spoke against Baba Akande’s actions/inactions and as well laid more emphasis on the poor status of Osun Education; ruthless sacking of Teachers and other policies of his Administration. Oyinlola was able to pool crowd consequent to his words of recalling the sacked teachers to service and repositioning the State’s Education.
Omooba Olagunsoye never totally disappointed the people of the state in fulfilling his promise of recalling the sacked Teachers. His administration reintroduced and encouraged Sports. His administration introduced the state sponsorship of WAEC of the students who passed the Mock Examination conducted by the Ministry of Education. He broke our Secondary Schools that comprised of Junior Students and Senior Students into Junior Schools and Senior Schools with each School having its principal but sharing the same premises. The Schools’ Uniforms remained unchanged but the style for Junior Schools changed to a Shirt and short Knickers/Gown while the Senior Schools’ changed to a Shirt and a pair of Trousers/Skirts. He introduced School’s Feeding Project where pupils of class 1 to 2 in Government Primary Schools were being fed a day meal during the school’s hours. He distributed free Text Books to Osun Students with the primary aim of making it transferrable – that is, when a student promotes to another class, he/she returns the Text Books while he/she collects from those leaving his/her newly promoted-to class. He constructed blocks of classrooms in some selected schools across the State. The Osun Teachers’ Salary and Welfare Packages were reviewed which gave Osun Teachers a better living standard with some of them building houses and buying cars etc.
St. Margaret's Girls Junior School's Uniform during Oyinlola's Regime
One would have thought that with the mentioned actions/policies of Oyinlola’s regime, Osun Education would be back on the expected Academic-Excellence Track but reverse was the case.
Oyinlola’s regime committed a lot of errors and grave mistakes. The process of calling back the sacked Teachers to service by Oyinlola was flawed by political interference. Those who had political affiliation to his government were easily called back. No program was introduced to address the Psychological Trauma the State’s Teachers were battling with consequent to Baba Akande’s sacking and other Anti-teachers’ Policies of his Administration. This led to the reduction (if not disappearance) in Teacher’s dedication to work and Disciplinarian Prowess.
The over politicization of Osun Education during Oyinlola’s regime which was evident in the appointment of Principals and other Ministry of Education’s Personnel further worsened the situation. Some morally questionable personalities became Principals, Inspectorates of Education, Zonal Inspectorates of Education etc. Some Teachers became more powerful than their Principals which made it impossible for the upright Principals to exercise authority on errant and inefficient Teachers. There was no reversal in the State Education Policies that were introduced by Baba Akande’s Administration. The Subjects abolished by Baba Akande remained abolished during Oyinlola’s Administration (No more Home Economics, Typewriting, CRS/IRK, French, Intro-Technology, Fine Art, Music, Shorthand etc). No school had Counselor any more.
The School's Bus giving to Ilesa Grammar School by its Old Boy Justice Alfa. Begore
Political Thugs always overthrew Schools’ Inter-house Sports and other Sporting Activities which compelled some Schools to suspend Sports in their Schools. Academic Competitions in the State became unnoticed and subsequently died off. In 2010, I had to introduce Spelling B’ Competition in my Alma Mata (Ilesa Grammar School) while I was the President of ILEGSOSA 2003 SET, with the primary aim of promoting competitive spirits among the Students. Old Students Associations of various schools started working on the standard of education of their various schools as well as their looks. Students started forming Cultist Groups while many Shrines were uncovered in some of our schools in the State. Teachers who exerted discipline within schools started getting threat messages from their rebuked students while some sustained permanent injuries during the times without any form of Compensation from the Government.
The Inspectorates, the Schools’ Boards and the Ministry of Education became populated with corrupt personnel. They started demanding and expecting KOLA (TIPS) from Principals, Headmasters and Proprietors/Proprietresses of all Government and Private Schools they were visiting for inspection. Teachers and Principals started saving towards their unscheduled visits as the failure to hand them a ‘Brown Envelope’ might lead to their transfer and/or bad reports about their school. Hence, Principals and Teachers started enrolling External Students for the State-sponsored WAEC while they charged such Students for the services without remitting it to the Government purse. Examination Malpractices became the order of the day. This gave birth to the present-day ‘Education Consults’ that dominate the State – taking students to Special Centers within and outside the State. It also led to the backwardness in the setting up and presence of Tutorial Centers that taught for Academic Excellence within the State, consequent to the evident rivalry between ‘Education Consults’ and Excellent Academic-pursuing Tutorial Centers.
I implore you to share this piece as well as to keep a date with me next week, when we shall be looking at the contributions of the present administration of Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola (the Executive Governor of the State of Osun) to the present day’s Education Challenges, Backwardness and Indiscipline in the State.