The Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, on Thursday ordered the authorities of the state College of Education, Ilesa to henceforth put a stop to organising combined graduation ceremonies in the school.
Aregbesola ordered that all outstanding graduation programmes of the institution must be done before the end of 2017.
He said the remaining programmes must be concluded in two batches before December 2017.
The governor gave the charge while speaking at the combined 24th graduation ceremony of four sets of 6,600 graduating students at the auditorium of the College in Ilesa.
He appealed to the students of the college not to disrupt the academic programmes of the institution so as to meet up with the set target.
He said: “Combined graduation ceremony must not happen in this school again.
“This graduation ceremony I believe is for the sets of 2007 to 2011.
“It is too much and not good enough.
“The graduation ceremonies of the set of graduands between 2012 to 2016, which will be the 25th graduation ceremony must be done in two batches before December 2017.
“I implore the students of this great institution not to disrupt the academic programmes of this school so as to meet up with the set target.”
Speaking on the various interventions of government in the education sector, Aregbesola said it was occasioned by the education summit chaired by Prof. Wole Soyinka, which gave some recommendations that government is implementing to improve academic performance in the state.
He said the summit also brought about the O-MEALS programme, which has been a huge success, hence making the Federal Government to adopt the programme.
He explained that the O-MEALS programme has created employment opportunities for different individuals in the state as well as boosting Agricultural sector in the state.
The Governor also used the occasion to shed light on the restructuring of the state’s tertiary institutions.
Aregbesola said it is not meant to scrap any school or retrench workers but to make the schools more relevant through the offering of vocational trainings and provision of remedial courses for young school leavers.
While congratulating the new graduates, the Governor said graduating from an institution is an accomplishment which prepares them for later life accomplishments.
He urged those who will be going directly into teaching to see it as an opportunity to give back to the society through teaching morals as well as trying to improve the academic qualities of the younger generation.
He said: “We are determined to improve the standard of education in our state.
“That is why we are spending so much in building state-of-the-art education facilities across the state.
“That is why we are spending so much feeding our pupils in elementary schools through the O-MEALS programme, which has attracted interests from all over the world to the extent that the Federal Government has adopted it.
“Our vision to restructure our state institutions is not to scrap any school or retrench workers, but we want to make the schools more attractive to the world.
“We want them to be able to offer remedial courses to young school leavers and provide vocational training to people in the society.”
In his graduation address, the Provost of the institution, Dr. Kadri Adegoke, explained that the ceremony is being used to reward excellence and hard work through the award of prizes to graduating students who have performed outstandingly well.
Adegoke said the programme is also used to honour two eminent Nigerians because it is believed that it will help in stimulating the spirit and culture of hard work, enterprise and excellence in the graduating students.
The provost used the occasion to express gratitude to the administration of Aregbesola for assisting the institution in giving capacity development to its staff, saying the college has never had it so good.
According to the provost: “This graduation ceremony is a combination of four sets of between 2007 to 2011, making a total of 6,600 graduands.
“We are using this ceremony to award excellence and hard work by awarding prizes to graduands who have performed outstandingly well.
“This occasion is also being used to honour eminent Nigerians in the presence of the graduands because we want it to serve as stimulant to the students and make them to be hardworking and become great enterpreneurs in future.
“I thank the Ogbeni Aregbesola administration for assisting the school in capacity building of the members of staff of this school, our college have never had it so good under any administration in this state.
“Almost all our academic staff members and some non-teaching staff members were sponsored on international conferences in the U.S. and the U.K in the last four years.
Delivering an acceptance speech on behalf of himself and a retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Bola Babalakin, a legal luminary, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, who was presented honourary awards alongside Babalakin, stated that education is one of the cardinal objectives of the All Progressives Congress government.
Awomolo described Aregbesola as a visionary governor who is pursuing his objective of taking Osun State to a great height in terms of academic performance, noting that education as a sector should not be handled with kids glove by any government.