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I Have Passion For Teaching Not LawAdewale Adeogun

By Godday Odidi
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Hon. Adewale Adeogun is the present Education Secretary of Ajeromi- Ifelodun Local Government Area of Lagos State. He is one of the Education Secretaries in Lagos State that has ingenious, creative and motivational mindset of taken Ajegunle primary schools from its grubby state to the Promised Land coupled with his youth exuberance. He is also a sports administrator, motivational and philanthropic teacher with the 21st century knowledge, computer scientist, public affairs analyst, Muslim scholar, a politician and productive achiever of vision and others. In this comprehensive interview with Godday Odidi,he explains why he has passion for teaching not law and other sundry issues.

Can we meet you sir?
I am Hon. Adewale Adeogun and the present Education Secretary of Ajeromi- Ifelodun Local Government Area of Lagos State. I was born in 1965 at Abeokuta in Ogun State. I had both my primary education in Ogun and Lagos States.I had a successful educational background that gave me leverage among my peer groups. I discovered early that my passion was teaching which prompted me to enroll at the college of education and others to make my teaching profession come to fruitful manifestation without hesitation. I had one of the best results then.

When did you become Ajeromi- Ifelodun Education Secretary?

Though, 2004 I had interest in the position of the Education Secretary but our noble political party asked me to wait until 2009 when I was appointed as the education Secretary in the local government. Many assumed that the position was only met for antiquated people until they came into realization that they needed to try a younger generation like me.

In fact, when I came on board, I realized that many things were absolutely wrong in Ajegunle primary schools. I started putting things in order and equally changed the mindset of teachers in Ajegunle that teachers' rewards are on earth not heaven. All the Ajegunle primary schools are working now.

To the extent that Ajegunle primary schools are into Agriculture especially fish farming unlike in those days where pupils were taught Agriculture but cannot felt it or know where garri comes from but today they practice farming without hesitation. We have school gardens too. Our teachers are being trained and retrained for 21st century teaching practice of the world.

We now have creative school sports competition and while there is huge enrolment of pupils into Ajeromi- Ifelodun primary schools. In fact Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola has done so well in making Ajegunle primary schools first among equal in Nigeria. There is strong academic discipline among teachers and pupils.

Gone are the days where teachers trade in their classrooms and pupils come to school late. We have laws for defiant pupils in the school. Some years back, we could not know the level of academic brilliance of our primary six pupils but now we can determine their academic prowess into the secondary schools of their choice if admitted.

What is your relationship between you and the two local government chairmen in Ajeromi- Ifelodun?

I have strong cordial relationship with the two local government chairmen but Alhaji Ajifat Ajidagba has done so well in education, health and road constructions. If you go to Ifelodun primary schools, you will see Ajifat's name in all the exercise books that indicates that he has passion for primary education and Hon. Kamal Bayewu has also done well too. Ajifat has built gargantuan libraries for primary schools in Ifelodun and others. He is a leader to be emulated together with Hon. Kamal Bayewu.

Is Education secretary by election or appointment?

The post of education secretary is by appointment not election but usually every five years.

What is the secret of your many awards on regular basis?

In fact I have two awards waiting for me now, one is national award from Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu, though it is political but the other one is Commoners newspaper award at 20.Hardworking is the secret of my many awards. I told you early on that my passion for teaching made me pursued my career to the apex. In every profession that you have vision for, you must have focus in life.

Every morning, I visit at least two or three primary schools to ring their bells and conduct school Assemblies with them before coming to my office that is a leader by example. I inculcated punctuality in all the schools through the lay down rules and regulations of education in Lagos state not me. I am appointed to make Ajegunle pupils to fulfil their divine destinies in life.

We have received several awards both local and state levels when I newly came on board, Ajeromi-Ifelodun primary schools were number 18 in Lagos State but to God be the glory we are at number 2 in Lagos State. We have won many quiz competitions and others. Ajegunle primary schools are meant to rule the world and nothing else.

Can you say as a teacher, you are fulfilled?

I am still young in the profession. I am yet to be fulfilled by grace of God. I can blow by own trumpet. My work will speak for me. But my educational legacy is vital to me than any other thing in life. Teachers now afford good homes and other financial benefits of life. Lagos State teachers' salaries are being paid on time. No teacher can complain anymore. That is a motivation from our able dynamic governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola

You always give free JAMB and GCE forms to indigent students, Is it your personal resource? Yes of course, it is a way of contributing my widow mite support to the society especially the indigent students in Ajegunle. Education is the best legacy anybody or parent can give to his or her child in life. Some of us are excelling today because of the level of education our parents gave us.

What is your advice for young teachers coming new into the profession?

Every young teacher must have passion for his or her profession. Teaching is not meant for lazy people but people with vision to accomplish in life.

when all else is lost, the future still remains
By: Ike Tandoh