We Have Successfully Prioritized Education Development – Aregbesola

Anthony Udofa Hgh School-4As he Commissions N140m State-of-the-art Elementary School in the State

The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has reassured the good people of the state of his administration’s commitment towards the provision of functional, quality, qualitative and effective education in the state.

In view of the worrisome economic situation in Nigeria and the state in particular, Governor Aregbesola said one of the ways to liberate the nation out of her present situation was to invest its little resources on her citizens through the provision of an interrupted-standard western education as it remains the sustainable legacy for every child.

Governor Aregbesola stated this while commissioning Anthony Udofia Government Elementary School, Osogbo.

The school which was named after the former military administrator, Retired Navy/Captain Anthony Udofia was metarmophosed from Anthony Udofia Model School to Anthony Udofia Government Elementary School.

Governor Aregbesola who described the provision of functional basic education as an unavoidable duty and responsibility  owed by every serious government, said his administration has prioritized education based on the premises of its understanding that any child with a good elementary school foundation will have no problem making progress educationally.

Aregbesola expressed satisfaction in the fact that his administration has been able to record tremendous achievements and accolade locally and internationally in educational sector, adding that he had elevated the state to the extent that the state can presently boast of having public schools that can compete with the best in the world.

He said his administration since inception has been putting together necessary efforts towards the actualization and fulfillment of its electoral campaign promises not only on education but in all other sectors of the economy as these notions had been successfully initiated, enunciated and implemented.

Aregbesola said his government having identified basic education as a fundamental and inalienable right of every child, decided to invest huge parts of its resources with the sole foresight that it remains the bedrock for sustainable development.

He stressed further that a good basic education fulfills the definition of literacy as the ability to read and write, saying it remains a solid foundation on which other superstructure of vocational training or higher education can be built upon.

Enumerating his landmark achievements, Governor Aregbesola recounts that his administration has commenced the  building of 100 Elementary schools across the state in a bid to domesticate and harmonize elementary public school in every neighbourhood.

He said, “Elementary school is the basic of the basic education. Any child with a good elementary school foundation will have no problem making progress educationally, other things being equal.

“We are building 100 Elementary schools like this across the state; though this is ambitious, the idea behind it is that there should be an elementary public school in every neighbourhood.

Speaking on the amount being expended by his administration on the new edifice, Governor Aregbesola disclosed that his government spent N140 million for the structure, furnishing and landscape, saying his government was satisfied in the fact that “being in this school gives the satisfaction of being in the proper environment of learning.

“We have made education development the priority of our administration. As you are mostly aware, these schools and other innovations are the products of the educational summit we held immediately after my inauguration.

“The complex we are in is a 960-pupil capacity school with 24 classrooms of 40 pupils each, with further capacity for upgrade to 1,000. It has an ICT room, a library, multipurpose hall, 29 toilets, offices for headmaster, facility manager, staff room, food court, sick bay, security/reception office and a water fountain for aesthetics.

“I am happy and fulfilled that we have public schools that can compete with the best in the world and indeed, our new schools are the ones to beat around here.

“All these are in fulfillment of our promise to provide functional basic education for the pupils in the state.

“This stems from our conviction that every child is owed basic education. It is a fundamental and inalienable right of every child.

“A good basic education fulfills 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 upon”, Aregbesola stated.

He revealed further, “Indeed, we are constructing 100 brand new state-of-the-art Elementary Schools, 50 Middle Schools and 20 High Schools. Out of these, 14 Elementary Schools, 15 Middle Schools and 11 High Schools, including the one we are commissioning today, have been completed, receiving finishing touches and awaiting commissioning, to the glory of God.

“Fulfilling our commitment to complete these school projects and our other obligations is financially challenging, if not herculean.

Governor Aregbesola who lamented over the current economic challenges occasioned with the effects of continued dwindling revenues from the Federation Accounts, said his administration would not be carried away in its focus to meet its numerous obligations and commitments.

He said, “As at Friday January 8, the new OPEC Reference of 13 Crude Basket which includes Nigeria’s Bonny Light sold for $28.46.

“This is a new low for the cascading price of crude oil, the life line of the nation’s economy, which hit a dazzling height of $140 in 2013.

“It is a crude awakening to the grim fact that any hope of allocation from the Federation Accounts is gone.

“We must therefore face the twin realities of first living within our means and making our own money.

“We must be engaged in productive activities that will lead to job creation, wealth creation and generous taxation to the government.

“Our people must work hard and double their productivity. We must all be engaged in one productive activity or the other.

Governor Aregbesola however implored the people of the state especially the youths to develop interest in agriculture, saying exploring its potentials would bring greater improvement on the state economy.

“The era of free, unearned money is gone. This is not a situation peculiar to Osun alone. Only states that can generate its own revenue will be able to withstand the financial disaster that befell the nation on account of the precipitous slump in oil price.

“The youths, especially fresh graduates and school leavers, must find something to do, especially in agriculture, an area where we have tremendous advantage.

“In addressing this challenge, it is also imperative that we live within our means.

“It is impractical anyway to do otherwise, since states do not print money and you cannot spend what you don’t have.

“The government sits atop society and presides over contending and competing interests therein. It is our duty that no particular interest predominates and asphyxiates other interests and put the survival of the state in danger.

“We must therefore reasonably spread what we have, especially on human development.

“This is why we have been unwavering in our commitment to human development projects like education”, he stressed.

Governor Aregbesola who debunked the allegation that his administration was only concentrating the state’s resources on the execution of capital development at the expense of state workers, said it was erroneous for any government to spend all its accruable resources on workforce which according to him remains subset of a set and constitutes less than 5 per cent of the entire populace.

“There is this ignorant and unreasonable idea being vigorously promoted by a few disgruntled media organizations and their political sponsors that reduced government to paying salaries alone.

“We are fully conscious of our legal and moral obligations to workers, yet, the truth is that workers are less than five per cent of the population of the state over whom we have responsibilities as a government.

“The idea therefore that all state’s resources must be spent on workers alone is insane, unsustainable and impossible.

“These media organizations have been inciting workers and pensioners to rebellion, subversion and sabotage, with the intent of destabilizing the state and disrupting the peace of our communities.

“In the past, they have made futile attempts to precipitate religious crisis by inciting Christians against Muslims in the state. It did not fly.

“They have also made repeated but failed efforts at inciting Civil Servants against the government. They have failed also. They hunt for crises and where they could not find any, they invent stories and write fiction, thereby putting the noble profession of journalism into disrepute, just because they want to stoke crises in the state.

He therefore commended the state workforce for its understanding, patience and perseverance to the current economic hardship, saying its constant resolute and total resistance of political demagogues and detractors had justified its apolitical stands in the affairs of the state.

Aregbesola said, “I must commend the mainstream Civil Servants for not taking the bait and falling prey to the infernal political schemes of failed politicians whom the people of this state have consistently rejected at the polls and who want to take over the government thorough subterfuge and conspiracy.

“This is why other categories of workers in the state’s employment must see reason and cooperate with government on the need to live within our means.

“This is a very special time that requires faith, understanding, creativity and new thinking. Albert Einstein, the great physicist, once defined insanity as doing the same thing, the same way, all the time and expecting a different result.

“I have the faith that with the various efforts we are making and fresh opportunities we are exploring in agriculture, solid mineral development, tourism and manufacturing, we will surmount the present challenges, create wealth and usher in new round of prosperity and wealth creation.

He therefore congratulate the people of Osogbo, the teachers and staff of this brand new school, its pupils and their parents and those working for the development of education in this state.

Earlier in her remarks, the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Titi Laoye Tomori said the current administration has remained unstoppable in the provision of functional and quality education.

Mrs. Tomori who is also the State Commissioner for Education averred that the giant strides of the present administration in education and other sectors of the economy has elevated the state to the vantage position of being the model for its peers across the world.

She held that countless of the present administrative policies and programmes  initiated had been borrowed and domesticated by the local, state, national and international governments across the world.

Mrs. Tomori therefore applauded Governor Aregbesola for his rare commitment to turn around the state and bring the desired light into the educational sector, saying his compassion for education has positively impacted the lives of the pupils and students in the state.

She admonished the pupils who are the beneficiaries of the projects and their teachers to see the edifice as a jewel that must be properly kept and maintained.

“This project is one of the testimonies of a fulfilled vision. It is a testimony of our untiring efforts to turn the education around for good and for the massive benefit of every Osun born citizen.

“The construction of such state-of-the-art school like this indicates our commitment towards functional education and provision conducive environment for teaching and learning processes.

“The building of the state-of-the-art school like this is equipped with modern facilities couples with the architectural masterpiece that eases teaching and learning and this is also the dream of many pupils all over the world”, Mrs. Tomori stressed.

in his address, the former Military Administrator in the state whose school was named after, Captain Anthony Udofia, commended the state government for building a solid future for the people of the state through provision of functional education and construction of school buildings with longer lifespan.

Confirming the numerous achievements of the current administration in educational sector, Captain Udofia stressed that no amount of money spends on education goes wasted and that the current government has with five years performed a 50-year development in education.

He said, “it is glaring that this government has been working rigorously to bring us the best in all sectors especially in the area of education which it prioritizes since it assumes office.

“This school and other ongoing ones across the state is a clear manifestation of the rare love, passion and commitment of the current government towards a developed and improved education system.

He therefore expressed gratitude to the Governor, people and government of the state of Osun for deeming it fit to maintain the status and name of the school.