The immediate past Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola has accused his successor in office as the Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola of failing to build on the educational policies and programmes instituted by his administration.
Aregbesola who spoke over the weekend in Akure, Ondo State at a reception to honour him by the Old Students Association of Akoko Anglican Grammar School, Arigidi-Akoko, Ondo State said his educational policies were already yielding positive results but Oyetola truncated them.
According to him, he was following the methodology established by the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo regarding education at that time but when he left office, the programme was not sustained.
He boasted that if Oyetola had continued the policy, Osun State would be the pace-setter in the education sector for other states in Nigeria by now.
He said: “By the time we left in 2018, 11 were fully operational. With each school graduating 1,000 students every year, and a combined output of 11,000, we should have not less than 44,000 world beaters now, if the programme had been sustained.
“These schools were designed to produce world beaters and the fruits were already coming out. A student from our school topped the Senior Secondary School Examination while another topped JAMB examination shortly after we left. But our successor regrettably couldn’t continue with the tempo.
“Our commitment then was from the understanding that there is no alternative to a sound public education foundation. All governments must therefore know that no matter how attractive private schools may be, they will never displace government-funded public education schools, if we really want to provide education to all the children and stimulate development from bottom up. It is a dream we must never give up on.”
However, a former Special Adviser to former Governor Adegboyega Oyetola on Education , Jamiu Olawumi, has responded to the claims by Aregbesola.
Olawumi was quoted by The Nation to have said Aregbesola never completed the structures for the mega schools he initiated, adding that the completed ones were underutilized.
He added that the structures were substandard and already falling apart while the policy came with a lot of controversies.
“The one in Iwo was never completed and never put to use till now”, he said.
He added: “Aregbesola built the mega schools without a NEEDS assessment because all the schools, except one, are underutilized. The capacity of each school is 3,000, but the attendance is under 500. The structures are also failing due to structural defects.
“The schools are non-residential, which is also a major factor discouraging pupils from across Nigeria. Meanwhile, the teachers he relied on to produce world beaters are owed 29 months’ salary.
“The education policy of Aregbesola also converted single sex school into unisex schools. Example is Baptist Girls’ High School, which produced Hakeem Abdulramon as a pupil. We have about 17,000 pupils affected by the policy who cannot use their certificates because of the presumption of fraud.”
You Are No Longer The Governor
Similarly, Senator Ajibola Basiru tackled Aregbesola and slammed him, saying the former Minister should keep quiet and understand he is no longer in charge.
“How many world beaters did he produce before he left? Most infrastructure he left are not sustainable and some of them have structural defects. He must realize that he is no longer the governor of the state and he should move forward for the new governor to deal with governance,” Basiru submitted.