The condition of Osun education policies under the previous administration led by Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola could be likened to Wrestling Sport. Majority of the people who passionately love watching wrestling do believe that wrestlers truly use sledge hammers to hit one another and as well believe that they truly hit themselves with other dangerous weapons shown during such fights. Bringing reality of the situation to a die-hard lover could amount to futility. Can we really blame these fans? Amongst whom are professors, doctors, lawyers, intellectuals, artisans, etc.
Permit me to tell this short story to buttress my point. In 2016, I was at a meeting of Osun Youth courtesy an invitation from my leader - Adabanija Semih Abidemi. The meeting was called in preparation for African Youth Day whereby delegates of Osun Youth shall be meeting the Governor - Ogbeni. That was the first time I was meeting my invitee and a host of other amazing personalities (my leaders) like: Adedayo Oderinu, Dayo Nigeria, Dare Eluyemi Darey Young, Sally Temitope Arowosafe - adeniji, DJ Bashman, Hon Ayanfe Eledumare, Mubarak Abiola Adegoke, and lots more. Only Bukola Idowu and Olufemi Olanipekun were not strange faces to me, as they've always been my bosses.
Issues to be tabled before the Governor, while meeting him, were discussed at the meeting. When it got to education, everyone agreed and believed that the Governor had done fantastically well in that area, and should rather be commended. I was mute during the course of the meeting, until Semih called out to me to lend my voice on the Osun Education's Status - being a voice he had privately read his evidence-based articles. The moment I started talking on the defects of each of the policies and the true situations in Osun's schools, everyone at the meeting seemed to be lost. It was as if I was talking about the state of education of another state order than the Osun we all live in. My presentation cast out the spell costumes used on the policies, and this made everyone conclude that education should rather be our main focus of discussion while meeting the Governor, while I was informed to get set to make such presentation before the Governor.
Honestly, I really wanted to be a part of the delegates to meet the Governor, to at least present him with all the facts at my possession, but unfortunately, I had already been engaged by the Nigerian Senates. The day we were to meet the Governor was the day scheduled for my trip to Abuja, in honoring the Nigerian Senates' invitation. The meeting served as the basis for Femi Olanipekun's invitation of Dr. Owoade, the then Boss of Osun State Education Quality Assurance, and myself to his popular program 'Frank Talk' on Rave FM. Whoever listened to that program of the said day would never come out to kick against the move of the current Governor. None of the facts I put on the table during the live program could be accurately debunked by the honourable man. He, at a point, openly commended my 'historical recollections' (his exact words) and claimed his ignorance to some of the facts I put before him.
It was at that meeting of Osun Youth also, that Dayo Nigeria buttonholed me to be a part of a meeting held at Osun State University, Osogbo, where all Heads and Representatives of Higher Institutions in Osun State met on a plan of a group of Osun concerned citizens as regards education. I remember how my facts seemed too fairy to be true to those at the meeting. In fact, it seemed as if I was there to rubbish their efforts and disrupt their planned program. They sought my being in charge of the program in Ijeshaland which I confided in Dayo, my rejection's decision. I remember telling him that 'I don't want to be part of a program that would fail'. The program never held till date as Dayo also withdrew his involvement.
Why did I share the above story?
I did share the story to let us realise the power of magical make-believe cosmetics carefully and beautifully applied on Aregbe's Education Policies to conceal their horrible realities. All we need is to cast a spell that could make these people see the truths and embrace the reality.
It is worthy of note that Governor Oyetola only continues the reversal of Osun Education Policies from where Ogbeni himself had stopped the reversal before he left office. I am sure many of these people never knew or might pretend not to know that Aregbe himself reversed more than 55% of his education policies before he left office. Baba Kabiru realised the defects of some of such policies after the likes of my organization and I had persistently called his attentions to them. I have a list of the reversals he made in case anyone needs an enlightenment around it. I am as well sure, if Osun State Ministry of Education has a functional archives, that all my memos written to the Ministry must still be intact. In truth, Aregbe's Education Policies were the bedrock for the establishment of Initiative for Sound Education, Relationship & Health (ISERH). ISERH came to life in order to cushion the effects of these policies and to advocate a change of policies through exposing the hidden facts to the populace.
In conclusion, I want to point out to Oyetola-led administration that there are more to do in revamping Osun educational system than the reversal of school uniforms, school names, etc. I am yet to read the full reports of his constituted committee, but there are about 5 major reforms that must take place in Osun educational system in order to get it to excellence. Failure to implement these 5 major reforms, Oyetola's administration would fail woefully than Ogbeni's in the area of education.
I pray to Almighty to guide our leaders right (Amen).
©️ Abdulahi Abayomi Abdulraheem,
Chief Servant, ISERH