The Deputy Governor of the State of Osun who doubles as the state Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Titilayo Laoye-Tomori, has reaffirmed determination and commitment of the present administration in the state to provide functional and qualitative education to citizens and residents of the state.
Mrs. Laoye-Tomori stated this after receiving on behalf of the state government, a cheque of N500,000 presented by the LASACO Insurance Plc led by its Managing Director, Mr. Olusola Ladipo Ajayi, in support of the state’s school feeding programme of the Aregbesola administration, O’MEAL, held at the state government house, Osogbo, the state capital.
The deputy governor said records available to the administration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola at its inception in October 2010 stated that only three per cent of secondary school students from schools in the state qualified for matriculation into the university.
She said ways to correct the anomaly and other rots found in the state’s education sector led the state government to convey an education summit for stakeholders in the education sector in February 2011.
According to her, the sector has been repositioned and improved tremendously as more than 43 per cent of students who finished from public schools in the state are now qualified for matriculation into universities of their choice. Mrs. Laoye-Tomori said the state’s school feeding programme is in line with the United Nations Education Scientific Cultural Organization ‘s (UNESCO) recommendation, noting that the programme has led to an increase in school enrolment geometrically as the state now has the highest number of elementary school enrolment in the country.
Mrs. Laoye-Tomori disclosed that the present administration committed over N3.6 billion to O’MEAL programme annually, adding that commercial activities of the state have witnessed a lot of transformation following the introduction of the O’MEAL programme as over 1,000 female farmers, 1,500 farmers and over 3,000 food vendors have been empowered through O’MEAL.
Recommending the programme to other states in the federation to curb the menace of out -of -school children, the state deputy governor appealed to other wealthy Nigerians and corporate organisations to partner with the state government in the people-oriented programme, saying the Aregbesola led administration is poised at taking education to the next level in the state of Osun.