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Education is essential for everyone. It is an indispensable part of life, both personally and socially. But in our own part of the world, unequal standard of education or sadly, total absence of it, is still a major problem that needs to be solved.Education is  synonymous to the future of any human being or nation. The future of a people or country rests on this pedestal, the lack of which guarantees a gloomy future for such people or country.

It is this future that occupies the mind of the Government of the State of Osun on all policies formulation. The Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, made it top priority since the beginning of his administration in 2010.

Seeing the abysmal state the education sector was when he took over as the chief executive, the Governor quickly put on his thinking cap.  He called education summit where the future of the children of the state was placed on the table and given thorough assessment so as to properly plan for future.

The summit was chaired by the Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka. And a comprehensive long-term policy was fashioned out. The education programme in the state has followed the laid down recommendations of the summit, which started with school reclassifications and school free feeding programme.

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Government is now on the last lap of the summit’s recommendations, the building of new schools. On Tuesday, 24th, another state-of-the-art school was commissioned in Ilesa. This ultramodern Ilesa Government High School, Ilesa, brought the number of the state-of-the-art senior secondary schools commissioned to five out of 11 of such schools at various levels of completion.

Fakunle-Unity School, Osogbo and Oduduwa High School, Ile-Ife, have been completed, awaiting Commissioning. The remaining four schools at Ila-Orangun, Iwo, Ikirun and Ikire, which are under construction, would also be completed before the end of the year.

Two First Class traditional rulers, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Eniitan Ogunwusi and the Owa Obokun of Ijesaland, Oba Adekunle Aromolaran led a pack of traditional rulers, who showered encomiums on the Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s education strides at the inauguration of yet another mega secondary school, in Ilesa.

It will be recalled that last year, President Muhammadu Buhari was also in the South-West state to inaugurate one of the 3000-capacity, Osogbo Grammar School. Oba Ogunwusi and Oba Aromolaran in their separate remarks lauded the state government over its investment on education and showered Governor Aregbesola with royal blessings. Ooni, who was impressed by the size of hall, the classrooms and other modern facilities, noted that the Governor would be remembered for good.

Ooni counselled politicians to strive to do what will make people remember them for good, saying, “Just like former Governor Lateef Jakande of Lagos State is being remembered in all spheres of life today, Osun people will reference Aregbesola in years to come.” The facilities in the new schools are second to none and ones hitherto not seen in this part of the African continent South of the Sahara.

As befitting a modern architecture, the school complex has 72 Classrooms of 49 square-meters each capable of sitting 49 students, 6 offices for study groups, 6 laboratories, 18 toilets for young ladies, 18 toilets for young men, 1 Science library, 1 Art Library, 1 Facility manager’s office, 1 Bookshop, 1 Sick Bay, 1 Bursar’s office, 3 Principals’ offices, 3 General Staff office, 1 Senior principal’s office, 1 Record store and 1 Security shed/Reception.

Besides, there is a total of 1000 square-metres of floor space Hall capable of sitting 1000 students for external examinations. This hall has storage for equipments, utility storage, a stage, office space, storage for documents, 4 female toilets and 4 male toilets. Sports  is not left behind As the school can boasts of a an Olympic sized football field, 7-lane sprinting tracks for 100 meters and 400 meters events, a pavilion and an outdoor Basketball court that doubles as tennis court.

Also equipped with stand-alone transformer for powering electricity and a borehole, the school cost N1.3 billion, including the cost of furnishing, landscape and electronic boards. At the end of his tenure next November, Aregbesola’s government would have constructed brand new state-of-the-art 20 Elementary Schools, 22 Middle Schools and 11 High Schools.

Aregbesola captured the essence of education and the essence of preparing for the future this way: “All these are in fulfilment of our promise to provide functional basic education. This stems from our conviction that every child is owed basic education.

“It is a fundamental and inalienable right of every child. We have gone to this length and committed such huge amount on education because we are preparing for the future. “A good basic education fulfils the definition of literacy as the ability to read and write and is a solid foundation on which other superstructure of vocational training or higher education can be built.”

What is on ground in Osun today contradicts what the naysayers mouth around that the government of Aregbesola has not performed. It seems as if any government with people-centred policies and programmes always draw flaks from political buccaneers whose brand of wasteful political hegemony has been permanently consigned onto the waste bin in Osun. Yet, Aregbesola remained undeterred by their campaign of calumny. One thing seems clear in his horizon: the future of his people.

In summary, education is absolutely beneficial for society on the whole. It is a life-long process all human beings that need to be reinforced throughout life. However, we need education system that will eradicate illiteracy and provide the common man with an access not only to basic education but also to higher and technical education.

Certainly, Aregbesola has a grasp of what immortality means in respect of what education can do – ability of others to continue moving where he stops. No other platform is better than the one he is building on the pedestal of education. With this landmark achievement, the future of Osun youths is assured a là Aregbesola’ education revolution.

Owolabi wrote in from Osogbo

SOURCE: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER

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