Speaking with reporters yesterday in Ede on a symposium organised by the group on the state’s education policy, the Coordinator, Comrade Temidayo Bankole, said some “politically-advantaged elite” have perfected plans to wage a media war against the government and “bastardise its laudable people-oriented projects and initiatives.”
The symposium holds today in Osogbo.
Bankole said: “We are worried about the misrepresentations and tension being created around important but delicate issues, such as education, religion and unity in our state by a tiny but vocal segment of the political elite, who seem to have mastered the art of infiltrating and recruiting allies in the media to drum up war beats in Osun, where religious and cultural tolerance is a desirable bedrock of the unfolding new rebranding and developmental order.”
He said it was unfortunate that a unique and rich policy as the Education Policy, which could have translated into a national strategy for the bail-out of the “shambolic” public school sector, has assumed religious and political colouration, fuelled largely by mischief and partisanship.
Bankole said: “With what one could note from the trend of discussions relating to the Osun School system in circles expected to churn out informed opinions, there are obvious politically-motivated effort to play down the beneficial impact of the components of policies, such as the O’Uniform, O’Meal and Opon Imo, which have been adjudged as revolutionary concepts in public school management.
“We see attempts to get the media to focus solely on the reclassification of schools (even this is clearly misrepresented) and undermine the wider public spirit and mission of the policy that the ordinary Osun people are describing as the best intervention in the education system since the era of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s free education policy.”
He said the symposium, themed: “Osun education policy in perspective: Issues, challenges and imperatives”, is the group’s contribution towards garnering support for the policy, “which is a sure strategy for the state’s socio-economic development.”
The media, civil society groups, religious groups, academia and rulers are expected at the symposium.
Bankole said: “We hope the symposium will be able to dissect the rejuvenation of public schools in Osun as a strong rebranding project and see how the project has begun to impact positively on the education management profile, as well as the state’s economy in key areas as job creation, empowerment and agricultural development.
“Where there is need to help the government in fine-tuning the policy with regard to the sustenance of its vision for the transformation of the state, the symposium will serve as a veritable platform.”