By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo
The Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, has said his administration is resolved to repositioning the State for the betterment of all the citizens, saying that it is committed to securing future of the children and those unborn.
He said the government remains committed to improving every sector as its policies and programmes are driven by citizens’ needs.
Oyetola stated these on Monday while receiving the report of the panel of the Education Policy Review Roundtable Summit at the Governor’s Office, Abere, Osogbo.
The Governor had earlier constituted the Panel led by a renowned educationist, Professor Olu Aina, to look at some extant education policies in the State, with a mandate to review and come up with workable recommendations that could further improve the State’s education system.
Quoting a renowned American author, John C. Maxwell, who has written many books on leadership, Oyetola, who noted ‘a man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them,’ further said every responsible and responsive government must make people’s demands the basis of its policies and implementation.
He added that the need to review the education policy was informed by the people’s demand, saying the government would ensure full implementation of whatever that will improve the lots of the people and protect the future of its children.
“It was our desire to hearken to the yearnings and aspirations of the citizenry that necessitated this review in the first instance.
“As a government, our policies and programmes are driven by citizens’ needs. These needs which were further validated by the United Kingdom Department for International Development’s (DFID)- funded Citizens Needs Assessment exercise in Osun, were harvested during the Thank You Tour/Town Hall Meetings, where the people told us in plain language that they wanted some aspects of our educational policies removed, adjusted or improved upon.
“That was what led to the Policy Review Roundtable Summit, the report of which we are receiving today. We are prepared to do what will improve the lots of our people and protect the future of our children.
“As a leader, therefore, I am conscious of the need to be just and fair to all manner of people regardless of their leanings in the discharge of my duties. This I will always uphold.
“Finally, let me once again thank the Chairman and members of the Policy Review Panel for investing their time in the future of our children and those unborn.
“Rest assured that your efforts will not be in vain. We will be swift and proactive in debating it at our level with a view to implementing the recommendations without any further delay”, Oyetola added.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the panel, Professor Olu Aina, said the panel had painstakingly reviewed and addressed all education-related issues with a view to “strengthening the delivery of quality and affordable education in response to the wishes and yearnings of the people of the State.”
He noted that the panel proposed 11 recommendations within the context of the national education policy and global best practices, saying for instance that the merging of Primary 5 and 6, though laudable for reason of school feeding initiative, violated the 6-3-3-4 structure.
Prof. Aina added that the creation of “the 4-5-3-4 and the Middle School are unknown to the National Policy on Education (NPE). “
While recommending the retaining of Opon Imo, with some medications, other issues X-rayed by the panel are: policy of mixing male and female pupils in schools established for single sex students and desirability of retaining the posts of Head Masters General and Tutors General in the rank of Permanent Secretary among others.
“The issues were subjected to comprehensive and critical review; they were individually discussed in consideration of situating the education policies of the State of Osun within the context of the overall national education policy and global best practices, and especially considering the interest of students and their parents.
“Even though education is on the concurrent legislative list of the Constitution of Nigeria, a state policy should be closely aligned to, and flow from the National Policy so that products of our education policy and practice are not disadvantaged,” Prof. Aina added.