Osun State educational policies: Beyond mere reversal

The Osun State government has announced an unprecedented reversal of the educational policies introduced by the immediate past government headed by Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, the current interior minister. The current administration has reverse the introduction of middle school, single uniform for all schools and merger of schools, among others. The new administration announced its abolition of the policies barely one year after its inauguration.

Mr. Gboyega Oyetola worked under his predecessor, Mr. Aregbesola, as the Chief of Staff to the governor. In the current political system of the country, a Chief of Staff is considered more powerful and influential than other appointees of the governor including the Secretary to the State Government of the state. There was hardly a reported rift between the then governor Aregbesola and his Oyetola, who promised “continuity” during the governorship campaigns in 2018.

Oyetola while wooing the people of the state said he would continue from where his boss, Aregbesola stopped in term of governance. The chief of Staff ought to have seen the errors in the policies of Mr. Aregbesola when he was the Chief of staff or he shouldn’t have used “continuity” to campaign for votes. By reversing the policies of the former administration, the former chief of staff has detached himself from the past administration; hence, he considered the policies as mistakes to be corrected. Did he see the mistakes then? Did he attempt to lead his boss to do the right thing? There are more to what we are allowed to know or what we have known.

Aregbesola flaunted the educational policies as a legacy he would see in existence for long in as much as the All Progressives Congress is in power. That legacy has now been reversed and erased by his successor.

It is easier to make or reverse educational policies and programmes. Every government wants to have its marks on the sector, irrespective of the interest of the people, for which the policies are made. Haphazard policies with no clear-cut plans to execute them or without a consideration for their viability and sustainability are made just for another government to come in to make the same mistake of forcing new policies down the throats of the people. In all assessments, the policies of the past Osun State government being reversed fell short of bringing the expected results.

The students continued to perform woefully in external examinations and the standard is drastically, though regrettably, falling. Now, the current government is coming up with another blueprint, towards what end? The state will have to start to build its education from scratch once again. Obviously, the last nine years were relatively, a waste, nothing could be shown for them. Reversing one policy and bringing another one without adequate provisions to make learning more interesting and engaging.

It sounds irrational that all public schools use the same uniform. And reversing it may be commendable. However, failure of the students in external exams is yet to be linked to the single uniform policy.

 

Timothy Faboade,

Ibadan.

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