As a part of the Silver Jubilee anniversary celebrations of the creation of Osun State on August 27, 1991, President Muhammadu Buhari, on September 1, 2016, commissioned the Osogbo Government High School.
The school has the capacity to accommodate 3,000 pupils, equipped with all modern academic and sporting facilities rated as one of the best schools in Nigeria.
The status of the school and its recognition as one of the best in the country, is just one of Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s resolves to stantardise education in the state through a workable education policy.
For the benefit of hindsight, the governor convoked a summit between February 7 and 8, 2011, barely three months into his administration, at the Osun State University, Osogbo, chaired by Prof. Wole Soyinka.
The summit communiqué and observations eventually became the fulcrum of Aregbesola’s education policy direction.
Based on tours of schools, it was discovered that about 4,055 school structures were dilapidated and, therefore, constituted immediate danger to the pupils, teaching and non-teaching staff.
To address this, the government set a target to build 170 well-equipped model schools across the state at elementary, middle and high schools level with maximum capacity of between 1, 000 and 3,000 pupils respectively.
In addition, it set out to refurbish those that could still be salvaged and decentralised the Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) into three districts.
Teachers Establishment and Pension Office (TEPO) was also established for training and retraining, promotion, prompt payment of salaries and allowances and taking care of teacher pension.
The government approached the Department of Nutrition Sciences in the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, to formulate a feeding roster that gives the best possible balanced diet.
Again, at the tertiary level, the government has reduced tuition fees for the state polytechnics and colleges of education by 30 per cent.
In the same vein, it has increased bursary awards to Osun students in all tertiary institutions in Nigeria in agreement with the reports of the Task Force on Bursary for Osun Indigenes in Tertiary Institutions set up by the governor.
With these achievements, and more, Governor Aregbesola has demonstrated that with little resources but targeted intervention, innovation and political will, dramatic and unprecedented progress is achievable.
- Yaya Ademola,