EDUCATION STAKEHOLDERS IN OSUN DRUM UP SUPPORT FOR NON-DERAILMENT OF STATE EDUCATION POLICY
A large turn-out of leaders of non-governmental groups from diverse walks of life in Osun State who came out to canvass support for the much maligned State Education Policy as the catalyst for the socio-political and economic transformation of the State in the near future was the highpoint of a one-day stakeholders' symposium organized by a non-governmental body, Osun Movement for Peace, in Osogbo on Wednesday.
Not less than fifteen organizations representing different stakeholders' interest in the State attended the symposium which held at the Ideal Nest Hotels, Osogbo. Among the bodies represented were NLC/TUC, NMA, PTA, Civil Coalition groups, Religious groups, traditional institutions and the academia, among others. Scores of print and electronic media practitioners drawn from local and national media outfits also took part in the event.
With the theme, 'Osun Education Policy: Issues, Challenges and Imperatives', the symposium, according to the organizers, was to serve as a platform for all interested and well-meaning citizens of the State to dissect the policy with a view to engendering robust positive debate and support base for the non-derailment of its beneficial impacts.
In a 48-slide presentation that captures the mandate, objectives and various components of the education policy, Chief Lai Oyeduntan, Chairman Osun Schools Infrastructure Development Committee, decried the attempt by those he called 'mischievous political jobbers who are adept at creating confusion' to malign the policy and derail the execution of its noble ideals which are meant for the reorientation, empowerment and fortification of Osun children to be able to take a pride of place in the evolving new world order.
'The Education policy in the State of Osun is being implemented professionally, responsibly and with the sole aim of empowering Osun children to grow up into complete citizens with the Omoluabi (cultured and well mannered) attributes firmly planted in their conscious and sub conscious being so that they can be at the forefront of the vanguard of new middle class being envisaged to elevate the Yoruba race and indeed Nigeria in the comity of focused, development-attuned nations of the future', he explained.
Lead speaker at the event, Prof. Ayo Olukotun of the Lead City University, Ibadan, enjoined Nigerians to cultivate a fresh attitude of objectivity and pursuit of public good whenever public policies are analysed and criticised.
According to him, sensational and politically motivated destructive criticism of policies that are designed to protect and advance the best interests of the public majority is antithetical to development and socio-economic and political liberation of mankind.
Professor Olukotun further advised the media to resolve to maintain reasonable professional detachment from politicians who can compromise positive ideals in the quest for political offices if the integrity of the media as credible watchdogs is to be sustained.
Delivering his vote of thanks, Coordinator of Osun Movement of Peace, Comrade Temitayo Bankole, said his group chose to organise the symposium as its own contribution towards the building of an egalitarian and peaceful society where citizens are better informed about policies that shape their destinies.
'Government come and go just as politics and political contests come and go. However, the only sensible permanent interest that all well-meaning citizens of a State like our own dear State of Osun must hold as non-negotiable is lasting peace and development that can make life better for future generations. Our group is driven by the desire to preserve Osun and all policies that will transform its fortunes now and in future', Comrade Temitayo submitted.
In the same vein, Chairman, Civil Societies Coalition, State of Osun, Comrade Biodun Agboola, expressed happiness that the symposium was able to halt what he termed 'the divisive agenda being secretly championed by irresponsible politicians whose aim was to precipitate disharmony and religious crisis in the State'.
In his words, 'In recent times, attempts have been made by irresponsible politicians with the support of a section of the media to present Osun as a state where religious crisis has engulfed the public schools system. This is an attempt to precipitate chaos, make the State ungovernable, and thus prepare the ground for their devilish political machinations as the elections draw near. The efforts of Osun Movement for Peace in organising this symposium where the policy has been well articulated and endorsed by representatives of all critical stakeholders in the education sector has put paid to this nebulous agenda . Our happiness is further increased by the fact that the Osun Movement for Peace is one of our members in the Civil Societies Coalition, State of Osun. This goes to show how passionate we are when it comes to issues connected to the development of the State', Comrade Agboola enthused.
Earlier in her keynote address, Deputy Governor of the State who also doubles as the Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Grace Titilayo Laoye-Tomori, praised the organizers for giving an opportunity to stakeholders in the State Education Sector to come together to brainstorm on a policy the State Government holds dearly as a clear-cut strategy for liberating and securing the future of the State.
'Our administration is most sincerely committed to the liberation and security of the future of our State as the catalyst for the reclamation of the lost values and ideals of the Omoluabi Persona which defined the Yoruba race in the past'.
'To be the epicentre of the future black race that would be able to stand tall and claim its destiny, Osun State and her Children must be sufficiently empowered with a holistic education that combines cognitive, affective, psychomotor and technological excellence. Our administration remains totally committed and will not spare any effort to pursue this objective in the interest of Osun Children; no matter the attempt made by enemies of the State to make us lose focus or abandon the course,' Mrs. Laoye-Tomori disclosed.
from left Dr Anthony Onipede, Chairman, Nigerian MedicalAssociation, (NMA), Osun state Chapter; Comrade Temidayo Bankole,Coordinator, Osun Movement for Peace; Osun state Deputy Governor andCommissioner for Education, Mrs Titi Laoye-Tomori and Professor AyoOlukotun, Lead Speaker at the One-day stakeholders symposium themed: OsunEducation Policy in Perspective: Issues, Challenges and imperativesorganised by Osun Movement for Peace in Osogbo, Osun state on Wednesday
from left Dr Anthony Onipede, Chairman, Nigerian MedicalAssociation, (NMA), Osun state Chapter; Comrade Temidayo Bankole,Coordinator, Osun Movement for Peace; Osun state Deputy Governor andCommissioner for Education, Mrs Titi Laoye-Tomori; Pastor Segun Babatope,Veteran Journalist and Professor Ayo Olukotun, Lead Speaker at the One-daystakeholders symposium themed: Osun Education Policy in Perspective:Issues, Challenges and imperatives organised by Osun Movement for Peace inOsogbo, Osun state on Wednesday
from left Dr Anthony Onipede, Chairman, Nigerian Medical Association, (NMA), Osun state Chapter; Comrade Temidayo Bankole,Coordinator, Osun Movement for Peace and Osun state Deputy Governor and Commissioner for Education, Mrs Titi Laoye-Tomori at the One-day stakeholders symposium themed: Osun Education Policy in Perspective:Issues, Challenges and imperatives organised by Osun Movement for Peace in Osogbo, Osun state on Wednesday