The Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has reiterated that the school re-classification exercise and reform currently going on in the state is aimed at putting education on solid pedestal and secure the future of the children.
To this end, the Governor urged all and sundry to join hands with the government and not to allow themselves to be used as agents to slow down the speedy recovery of the education sector that is currently being witnessed in the state.
In a statement signed by the Director of Bureau of Communications and Strategy in the Office of the Governor, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, Aregbesola stated this to stem the tide of unnecessary fear being nurtured through unfounded rumours some disgruntled elements are peddling around the state over the re-classification exercise.
The Governor said that his administration took the decision so as to return the state’s education fortune, which was at its lowest ebb when he assumed office in 2010, to its proper status.
The statement said that a few parents whom the administration perceived not to be fully informed on the beauty of the scheme, had put up some resistance in one school in Iwo and the state capital, Osogbo.
It however explained that good reasoning prevailed upon further explanations to the apprehensive parents who have however calmed down and allowed peace to reign in the few schools.
“In this kind of scheme, it is not unexpected that there would be apprehensions knowing well that change is the most difficult thing for people to adjust to. Our people eulogise and long for good education standards across the world and would wish it for their children. However, the hard reality is that these positive changes must involve some alterations in our current depressing system to bring about the new generation of well-educated, trained citizens that will take our state to higher heights. It is in the light of these that we are resolute in going ahead with the best policy for the future of our children,” the statement added.
Aregbesola averred that the re-classification exercise aims at offering a complete education system that will produce a sound and an all-round mind in the present generation of children in the state.
The state also quoted the governor as saying that all interests – pupils/students, parents and teachers – were adequately considered without any sentiment before arriving at the decision to embark on the ongoing policies. The Governor reminded the people of the state that the education summit organized in 2011 shortly after his administration came into being had inputs from all stakeholders, who, he said all agreed that drastic measures must be taken to stem the tide of the rot that had made less than 3 percent of the state’s pupils matric-able.
Aregbesola said: “The overall aim of the reforms we are carrying out is to develop the new man intellectually, socially and morally.
“This new man is placed in the centre of society who views his own development as part of and for the development of society.
“This is a non-parasitic and non-oppressive man views his existence in light of the growth of others; he views whatever he acquired to be subsumed in the overall interest of other. He is a man in himself and a man for society.
“This is the Omoluabi essence. Everything we have done in the school reform is for the building of this man.”
The Governor added that his administration is not unaware of little inconveniences the reforms could bring about to parents and the pupils. He noted that such inconveniences are just a passing phase, which will pale into insignificance if compared to the huge benefits of the new system, both in the short and in the long terms.
The statement read further: “As part of the reform, we decided to reorganise the school system into Elementary, Middle and High school categories.
“The Elementary level will comprise pupils from ages six to nine years, which corresponds to primary one to four pupils under the existing system.
“The Middle level will stretch across primary four to Junior Secondary School Three, within the age bracket of 10 to 14 years, now classified as Grades 5-9. At the High School level, the age range will be between 15 and 17 years, corresponding to Senior Secondary School III, to be known as Grades 10-12.”
Aregbesola allays fears in all quarters that no single group, organisation, individual, religious or social body’s interest would suffer as a result of the ongoing re-classification and reform.
He urged people of the state to discountenance and dismiss any untrue and baseless insinuation some anti-progress elements may be spreading across the state.