Governor Seyi Makinde has once again displayed his commitment to the proper funding of the educational sector in Oyo State by approving the employment of 692 education officers out of the successful candidates who attended the interview for the recruitment of education officers between April and May this year who will teach at various Unity schools and Technical Colleges under the Ministry of Education.
This is an unprecedented achievement because Unity schools across the country have been left to doom by successive governments in the country to the extent that they dwell basically on glory of the past. Meanwhile, in those days, Unity schools served as the stronghold of quality education. Lo-and-behold, it was left to sink in standard to the extent that what is left of it is memories of good old days awaiting revitalisation.
It is no gainsaying that the educational sector in the country has been so bastardised that there is even nothing left to pride in about it. And, the reason for this is not farfetched! Successive governments allocate a meagre sum of the total budget to the educational sector while fueling privately owned institutions. They have so abandoned the primary education, which forms the core of the educational sector because their intention is to have a population that won’t be able to transform education into development. It is public knowledge that a society which cannot invest heavily on the education of the youths produces uninformed, uncultured and weak leaders at the helm of affairs of the State because they were disconnected from education while at their prime age.
In all honesty, the people of Oyo State are so lucky to have a visionary leader in Seyi Makinde as the Governor. Though, it could be said that he is simply performing his constitutional duties as a Governor, but we must take cognisance of his willingness to harness the glory of the Pacesetter State through the educational sector.
It is still fresh in our memories how the State government under the supervision of Governor Seyi Makinde cancelled the #3,000 education levy which was introduced by the last administration and augmented the budgetary allocation for education up to 20%, coupled with the payment of Education Grant of #526m per term which amounts to #1.6bn annually while complimenting it with the recruitment of 5,000 teachers and 2,000 non-teaching staff by the Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) amongst other commitments of this administration to promote the overall welfare of the children and youths in the State through sports, health and other sectors.
Governor Seyi Makinde has begun the revitalisation agenda of Unity schools in the State, and I do hope that the Federal Government will take it up from there. Though, I understand that the Federal Government under Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari does not listen to the tales of children but waits for disaster to happen.
But, my words for the Federal Government is that, “civilization has accorded a fitting recognition to the rights of human persons to education. We, the people of Nigeria, must not be an exception. We must be accorded maximum and undeniable right to education to foster national development. The future of Nigeria cannot be guaranteed if education is not specially made accessible and motivating. The quintessential way to secure the future of Nigeria is to invest heavily on education and make it accessible to the people.”
Kazeem Olalekan Israel (GANI) writes from Ibadan, Nigeria.