Home Education RE- Oyo’s N3,000 School Fees Debacle | Adebayo Mutalubi Ojo

RE- Oyo’s N3,000 School Fees Debacle | Adebayo Mutalubi Ojo

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I have painstakingly read Dr. Festus Adedayo’s piece under reference and my learned colleague, Aare Isiaka Abiola Olagunju’s rejoinder to same.
On this,  I stand and align with Dr. Adedayo.
A careful and thorough reading of Dr. Adedayo’s article in question would reveal that it was a very balanced one and had seriously considered and dealt with fairly all the fears and issues raised by Aare Olagunju, that one would even be worried whether there is any need for that rejoinder as it seems to be unwarranted and merely whipping up mere sentiments and emotions.
I am a product of the free education programme introduced by the UPN led government in  Oyo State.
May the good Lord continue to grant our Mentor, Benefactor and Role Model, Uncle Bola Ige eternal rest. He and the other UPN Governors meant well for the thr children  of the poor( including my humble self) , but the policy was poorly executed and I will use my own school, Urban Day Grammar School, Elekuro, Ibadan, Oyo State of Nigeria as a case study.
The school, UDGS, Elekuro, Ibadan was founded in 1980 and we were the pioneer students. That year we were all offered automatic admission into the school like all other schools as the UPN government cancelled the common entrance examinations into secondary schools across the state. Admission was thus an all,-comers affairs which was the basis of the weak foundational structure of that policy. Promotion exams were also almost automatic until General Oladayo Popoola who became the Military Governor in 1984 reversed that ugly trend. May the good Lord continue to bless that fine officer and a Gentleman who is still alive.
Biola, in UDGS Elekuro, beside our School Principal,  Mr. Israel O. Fagbemi(now of blessed memory) who was a university graduate, all other teachers in our school are Grade II and Associate Teachers.
In actual fact, we did not have any graduate in UDGS until we got to Form 4 when we had Mr. Oni and Miss Akintide(of blessed memory) as our Chemistry and Econmic teachers respectively.
Until we passed out in 1985, we didn’t have any graduate teacher to teach us English Language and Literature in English.
In years 1, 2 and 3, Yorubas were being used to teach us almost all the subjects as our teachers too were not good in English Language. They were good teachers no doubt as they always struggled to cram and just poured out the subjects on is without themselves to unable to understand what they were teaching us. We used to call them “agberu-gbeso”.
We didn’t have science laboratory until the third term of Form 4.
You will agree with me that the dismal and woeful results of the WASCE May/June 1985 was due to the poor foundation of that free education policy.
In my school, only 2 students had P7 and P8 in English Language as all others made F9. It was that woeful.
Aare, you will agree with me that we were used as guinea pigs by the government as no member of that government sent any of their children or wards to the types of our several urban days or community schools they established in 1980.
It was by the providential grace of God coupled with our determination to succeedthat negligible numbers among us made it to higher institutions as the greatest proportion of that educational policy have been consigned to uncertificated school certificate drop-out for life.
You will also agree with me also that even till date, that weak foundational structure in.our secondary schools are still obvious in the oral English of most if not all the products of those Urban Days and Community Schools.
Dr. Adedayo was right when he quoted that Yoruba proverb that “A charm obtained ex-gratis would be handled and treated with levity and as trivially unimportant by the beneficiary.” That is also the case with free education.
Engineer Seyi Makinde, the Governor of Oyo State should please, in the overall interest of the state and for good governance , stop playing to the gallery.
Even I  1979, our parents were asked to pay Development Levy as distinct from the compulsory poll tax before their children could benefit from the said free education. This clearly shows that there is nothing that is free, even in Freetown.
Engineer Makinde should embrace and restore the N3,000 levy or may even reduce it to N1,000 , but its outright cancellation was done in bad faith and for other primordial considerations that are not in the interest of the pupils, parents, teachers and the educational system in Oyo State.
The Immediate Past Governor and the father of the modern Oyo State put in place some laudable policies for the state educational system which must be sustained if we want to transform Oyo State educational system and such include the School Governing Board System and the re-introduction of the Inspectorate system in Schools.
With the current school enrolment and large number of schools in Oyo State and any other state in the South-Western state, it would be preposterous to introduce free education at any level in this age and time. Any attempt to do so would be providing the children with QUANTITATIVE and not QUALITATIVE EDUCATION.
Dated this 13th June, 2019
Asiwaju Mutalubi Ojo Adebayo

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