Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo
The Osun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday described the recent placing of the state on the 29th position on the performance chart of students who sat for the last Senior Secondary Schools Certificate Examinations conducted by the West African Examinations Council as a further proof that the state governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola has been a failure in leadership and has become more of a reproach than a blessing to the state.
The party in a statement signed by its state Publicity Secretary, Mr. Sunday Bisi and made available to THISDAY, said it was quite unfortunate that a state which had always been among the first 15 states on the WAEC ranking will suddenly nose dive into the 22nd position in 2014 and now 29th just six years after Aregbesola came into office as governor!
According to Bisi: “It is particularly worrisome that less than 19 per cent of students who sat for the SSCE exams in 2015 had five credits and above and those students were mostly from private secondary schools. Worse still is the embarrassing fact that Osun is now grouped with states like Yobe, Zamfara, Gombe, Sokoto and a few others which had always been categorised as ‘educationally disadvantaged state’ in the last 35 years and had looked up to the South-west for leadership in the educational sector”
The PDP in Osun state noted that a state which produced the first indigenous Nigerian lawyer and Queens Counsel in person of the late Sapara Williams, the late Cicero of Esa Oke, Chief Bola Ige and has consistently produced some of the brightest minds in the political, economic, legal and social spheres has been so debased by the obvious lack of vision and uncoordinated style of the APC administration which rode to power claiming to be a disciples of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, whose legacies in the educational sector remains unparalleled.
While noting that the Aregbesola administration has squandered a great deal of scarce resources on deceptive, unsustainable and corruption-ridden programmes such as the Opon Imo tablets, school mergers, single uniform and the likes, it has failed to invest in improving the quality and welfare of teachers, discipline among pupils and provision of libraries, laboratories and other essential input which are the essential ingredients of quality education.
The party added that “The free school feeding programme which Aregbesola inherited from the PDP administration has become a conduit pipe for corruption and personal aggrandizement rather than a tool to increase pupil enrolment and involvement in learning which the Oyinlola administration used it to accomplish in 7 years.
The provision of free text books which the PDP initiated in 2005 and sustained for 5 and a half years have also been stopped while the states tertiary institutions now groan for lack of tools to train our future leaders.
It is thus imperative that we call on major stakeholders in the Osun project to rise up and salvage our future by calling Mr. Rauf Aregbesola to account on this very critical sector.
The party called on Osun indigenes home and abroad to rise above partisanship at a time like this in order to salvage what is remaining of our educational legacies.