No fewer than 147,000 children of school age have been enrolled in public elementary schools in the state of Osun this current 2013/2014 academic session.
Governor Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola made this known at the weekend in Lagos while speaking after being conferred with a Special Award as a Man Making a Difference(M.A.D) in the 2013 GAME Award for his outstanding contributions to educational development in the state.
Represented by his Deputy, Mrs. Grace Titilayo Laoye-Tomori, Governor Aregbesola said education programmes like O-Meals, O-School, O-Uniform and O-Calisthenics have positively repositioned public school education in the state which was at its lowest ebb at the inception of his administration in 2010.
The Governor said the state was ranked second state with highest number of out of school children in the federation but today stands as best in elementary school enrolment in the South West following the introduction of these education oriented programmes and increase in the state government’s investment in education.
Mr. Aregbesola, who said coming 34th among the thirty-six states of the federation in terms of federal allocation did not deter his administration from fulfilling his electioneering campaign promises to the people of the state, said actualization of his six point integral action plan have positively impacted on lives of people of the state.
Governor Aregbesola said tackling youth unemployment in the state was part of what attracted him into government and prompted him to give employment to 20,000 youths within his 100 days in office through the Osun Youths Empowerment Scheme (OYES) and other youth employment driven programmes like O’REAP, O-HUB, O-FISH among others.
The Governor thereafter called on Nigerian youths to work hard towards the actualization of their dreams and aspirations for life to positively transform the nation saying the future belongs to those who plan for it today and work hard towards the actualization of their dreams.
Presenting the award to Governor Aregbesola, Professor Pat Utomi, who commended the Governor for his people- oriented programmes, said transformation of Lagos State was not an accident but a product of logical thinking which could be traced to Governor Aregbesola’s leadership style during his time as Commissioner for Works in Lagos State between 1999 and 2007.
Describing culture as what determines future of any nation, Professor Utomi appealed to well meaning Nigerians to assist in giving education to children from poor homes as a way of giving them a better tomorrow adding that life is not all about how much money one has but about what one is able to make out of life.
In the words of another awardee, Mrs. Mo Abudu, she urged Nigerian youths to desist from losing hope in the future of the country saying Nigeria is a country endowed with avalanche of blessings and opportunities for all.
In his speech, initiator of the award, Mr. Abiola Salami, said conferment of the award on Governor Aregbesola was aimed at cultivating leadership instinct in youths and to teach them that leadership is not about position but one’s disposition for life.