President Muhammadu Buhari will today inaugurate Osogbo Government High School, one of the 20 schools being constructed by the Rauf Aregbesola administration.
The state-of-the-art schools demonstrate Aregbesola’s commitment to providing quality education for Osun State youths.
The 3,000-capacity complex has 72 classrooms of 49 square-metre, each capable of sitting 49 pupils; six offices for study groups; six laboratories, 18 toilets each for girls and boys, a science library, an arts library, facility manager’s office, bookshop and sick bay.
Osun is also building 100 elementary and 50 middle schools. Of these, 14 elementary schools, 15 middle schools and 11 high schools, including the one to be inaugurated today, have been completed.
Director, Bureau of Communications and Strategy in the Office of the Governor, Mr Semiu Okanlawon, said in a statement that the upgrade of schools followed recommendations of a summit at the start of Aregbesola’s administration in 2010.
“Before the administration came on board, many had complained about the quality of infrastructure in public schools being in total shambles, including the state-owned tertiary institutions.
“In fact, critics lamented that most of the schools were turned into mere certificate awarding centres, with the state becoming one of the least performing states among its peers in educational affairs, as only three per cent of its candidates in the 2010 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) had five credits including English Language and Mathematics.”
Since the government stepped in to improve infrastructure, provide two pairs of unified school uniforms to all public primary and secondary school pupils, provide tablets (Opon Imo) as composite study devices for final year students, and introduce school feeding programme, tagged O Meal, there have been successes.
The Deputy Governor, Madam Grace Titilayo-Tomori, who doubles as the Commissioner for Education, said through the Opon Imo, the government reduces the burden of buying multiple textbooks.
“The equipment, designed as a stand alone tablet, called ‘Opon Imo’, contains the entire senior school syllabus, including Yoruba traditions, past questions of the West African Examination Council (WAEC), National Examination Council (NECO) and Joint Administration and Matriculation Board (JAMB) for 10 years in the software design for the system.
“All these are focused on reducing the phobia associated with learning and increasing students’ interest in learning; and completely turn learning into play in schools and at home,” she said.
The ‘O’ Meal, which costs the government N3 billion annually, reportedly increased primary school enrolment by 40 per cent in the last academic session.
Aregbesola also reduced the school fees paid by students in all the five state-owned tertiary institutions. Students at the polytechnic and College of Technology, now pay N25,000 from N42,000; while those at the Osun State University (UNIOSUN) pay N100,000 for Law and Medicine from N205,000; and N75,000 Sciences, Social Sciences and Art from N155,000 and N130,000.
Also, the government offered scholarship to all 98 UNIOSUN medical students for their clinical courses in far away Ukraine.
The intervention was said to have gulped N146million at the rate of $7,000 each, comprising the cost of training, accommodation and other sundry matters. Parents are responsible for feeding only.