Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has commissioned yet another school, A.U.D. Government Elementary School in the state capital, Osogbo, a day after commissioning the gigantic Adventist Government High School Ede.
Dressed in a similar uniform to that of the elementary school pupils during the opening ceremony on Tuesday in Osogbo, the governor stressed that the commissioning of schools and other infrastructures across the state were in fulfillment of his government’s promise to provide functional basic education for the pupils in the state.
The A.U.D Government Elementary School, located at Sabo, in the state capital, is 22 full classrooms, each capable of accommodating 50 pupils. It has a multipurpose function hall, a sick bay, computer room, a principal’s office and the secretary’s office.
Also provided in the school is a recreation centre, including a small playing field. The conveniences include six blocks of toilets for pupils and staff, each having three squat pans and WC, making a total of 24. The seventh block is designated for staff with four cubicles of WC. The principal’s office also has a private toilet.
Aregbesola at the commissioning after asking for a minute silence for the repose of the soul of late Cuban former President, Fidel Casto commended him for making sure that almost all citizen of Cuba can read and write, saying Fidel Castro’s welfarist programme shall live after him.
The governor stated that elementary school was the basis of the basic education, hence, any child with a good elementary school foundation, he said, would have no problem making progress educationally.
He noted that A.U.D school was one of the 100 elementary schools his administration was currently building, out of which 20 were already completed.
He added that government was also building 50 middle schools from which it had completed 22, even as he held that his administration had also carried out renovations on 40 other schools which gave a total of 1,694 standard classrooms in the existing elementary, middle and high schools, providing accommodation for nearly 90,000 pupils.
Governor Aregbesola said, “We have provided for them more than 100,000 desks and chairs, toilets and boreholes and we have made schools decent places to be. We have provided 50,000 e-Learning tablets (Opon Imo) for grade 12 final year high school pupils in the state.
“This has benefitted three sets already while the fourth set that is, the current final year set are receiving the tablet as we speak. In addition to building schools, we have recruited more than 12,000 teachers to boost manpower in the school system. We are also motivating the teachers.
“We have put in place a policy that makes teachers in elementary and middle schools to rise to grade level 16. We have, in addition, appointed three Tutors-General, equivalent of Permanent Secretary, in the three senatorial districts in the state.
“We have established the Osun Education Quality Assurance and Morality Enforcement Agency to assure education quality and enforce morality in our schools.
“Our overall vision is to develop the new man intellectually, socially and morally. This new man is placed in the centre of society who views his own development as part of and for the development of society,” the governor told the gathering.
Speaking earlier, Chairman, State Universal Basic Education (SUBEB), Prince Felix Awofisayo, commended Governor Aregbesola for prudently managing the scarce resources of the state especially on schools restructuring.
In her own remarks, the Deputy Governor who is also in charge of education in the state, Mrs Titi Laoye-Tomori described the new school as one of the series of the state-of-the-art schools currently being constructed across the state, adding that efforts had also been put in place to sustain the new education policies and programmes for the betterment of all.
Her words: “Aregbesola’s government is committed to changing the face of education, transforming education sector and as well turning it to a model in Osun, Nigeria, Africa and the entire world.
“Our administration is working assiduously to meet both present and future needs of our children in education sector. That is why we are building edifices as schools that can last for years across the state.
“Our modern education policies and school reclassification policies are second to none because our model schools are well equipped with state-of-the-art facilities that are incomparable not only in Nigeria or Africa but in the world.
“Our government has put in place a strong and workable financial mechanism and re-engineering policy to stimulate the economy even in the face of the current excruciating economic realities,” said the deputy governor.
Also speaking, the Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimon Olanipekun, commended the civil servants in the state for being patient with the state government in the face of the current economic realities.
The monarch assured the workforce of the government’s commitment to their welfares, saying the state was working round the clock to bring the much needed succour.
Oba Olanipekun who described the newly commissioned schools across the state by the present government of Governor Aregbesola as unprecedented, said with the emergence of the new schools, Osun had become a model among its peers in the country and beyond.
He appealed to the citizens of the state to further maintain patience with the government as the effects of the current economic situation cut across all levels of government.
In their separate remarks, the Chairman Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Mr. Amuda Wakil, A.U.D School Headmaster, Mrs. Olubunmi Olaniyi and Chairman Association of Primary Schools’ Headmasters of Nigeria (AOPSHON), Oladapo Sadiat, lauded the state government for being the pacesetter in the education sector in Nigeria.
The trio also extolled Governor Aregbesola’s passion and love for education, saying his immense achievements had been felt across the nooks and crannies of the state.
They debunked the rumours making the rounds that the state government had introduced school fees to pupils of public schools, saying at no time had the state taken such a decision.
The trio said what the state introduced was maintenance fees purposely ordered to maintain the facilities installed in all the newly built schools across the state.