The Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has opened yet another government mega school, the Adventists Government High School.
Aregbesola who was received by the highly elated pupils of the new school said at the commissioning his government is unrelenting in its resolve to change the face of education and produce men and women who can fit and function maximally in the new world order.
The Governor, in his speech titled Sound and Unshakeable Legacy, said the mega schools would be the legacies of his administration just as he recalled that prior to his coming, schools were a caricature of what educational facilities should be.
He said: “What is more important however is that these schools are our legacy signature in education in Osun and will be the imposing monuments of a vision for mass literacy in the state, at a specific time in history.”
Recalling what the schools in Osun were, Aregbesola said: “They were dirty, decrepit and falling apart. Basic amenities were missing.
“The school environment was a demotivating factor to learning and character building. It is very cruel to keep children in them. In developed countries, animal rights activists would not allow goats to be kept in them.
“Why should we keep our children there? I vowed that it would not happen under my watch and I thank Almighty God that we have realised our vision of providing a conducive learning environment for our pupils.”
The governor said the facilities available in the school are more than enough to stimulate learning adding that his administration would not relent in putting in place the best facilities to develop education.
He said, “This school, a three-in-one, as is our standard, has 72 Classrooms of 49 square meters, each capable of sitting 49 students. It has six offices for study groups, six laboratories, 18 toilets for young ladies, 18 toilets for young men, a science library, an Arts library, facility manager’s office, bookshop and a sick bay. It also has a bursar’s office, three principals’ office, three general staff office and one senior principal office.
“It has a record store security/reception office. There is a borehole for adequate water supply and a transformer for power supply.
“There is also a 1000square-meter of floor space Hall capable of sitting 1000 students for external examinations. This hall has storage for equipment, utility storage, a stage, and office space, storage for documents, four female toilets and four male toilets.”
Saying his government is focused on preparing children for the future, the Governor said those who would be educated in these new schools are expected to be equipped with what it takes to function maximally in a new world order.
He said, “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.
“This is a non-parasitic and non-oppressive man who views his existence in light of the growth of others; he views whatever acquired to be subsumed in the overall interest of other. He is a man in himself and a man for society.
“I made the point at the 25th anniversary of the creation of our state and needs reiterating now. “The investment we are making in education is not for now. We are looking at the next 25 years, where the current pupils would be and what their position would be in an increasingly competitive and digitised world.”
The Governor used the occasion to extol the service to humanity which the late former president of Cuba Fidel Castro represented.
He said Castro ensured that Cuba was rid of illiteracy.
The Deputy Governor, who also supervises Education Iyaafin Grace Titi Laoye-Tomori, said the 6-year intervention of Aregbesola in education has achieved what she called modest improvements in performance.
She said, “It is pertinent to note that the intervention of Aregbesola administration in the education sector has achieved modest improvements in the performance of students in the WASSCE contrary to the misinformation by the opposition.”
An old student of the school, the Orangun of Oke-Ila, Oba Dokun Abolarin, thanked the Governor saying his investments in education shows he has internalised the motto of the school which is “Building souls for service.”
Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Teachers in the State, Comrade Wakil Amuda, told the gathering that the government is charging no fees in the schools.
“You are building the foundation for many generations.” Oba Abolarin said while listing the many facilities the school is equipped with.
Bukola Akani a student of the school expressed appreciation of fellow pupils to the Governor.
“You are building a better future for us. I want to appreciate the Governor for inventing Opon Imo (Tablet of Knowledge) which has helped us a lot in passing our examinations.”
Timi of Ede, Oba Muniru Adesola Lawal while appreciating the Governor, said some are being misled by the rumour that the government is charging school fees.
He explained that what the government agreed with all stakeholders is maintenance fees which are to be used to take care of the new educational facilities.
Oba Lawal, therefore, urged the people of Osun to ensure payment of their taxes adding that what the Aregbesola government has done are massive enough to encourage the people to pay their taxes