Seyi Makinde and Beer-Parlour Education Policy -By Fatai Abiodun

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It was Adesina Abegunde who opined that getting proper education is the birth-rights of everyone that restricting it becomes a crime. He further stressed that education is the ultimate way to get victory over personal and social problems.

 

Today, the importance of education in all aspects of our life cannot be over-emphasized. To live a better and peaceful life, we need to be educated, and the dream of every parent is to see their kids going towards success which is only possible through good and proper education.

 

When his Excellency, Gov. Seyi Makinde was sworn-in as the executive governor of the Pace –Setter state in 2019, he publicly announced his agenda on the state education policy by scrapping the payment of Three Thousand Naira yearly payment i.e One thousand Niara per term introduced by the former governor Abiola Ajiomobi of blessed memory administration to augment some miscellaneous expenses of running the school rather than waiting for government.

 

While some parent were jubilating without recourse to any repercussions, less than a year of the much political celebrated policy, a new twist was introduced into the purported ‘free’ education policies when the state education commissioner hinted that payment of West African Examination Council (WAEC) fees is not covered in the state’s free education policy that external examination fees such as WAEC, among others, should be the responsibility of parents and not that of state government. Poor parents cried, and what they celebrated before looks confused to them. They knew they have entered one chance.

The governor refuses to pay WAEC fees knowing that many students dropped out of school to learn tailoring or shoe-making with the hope of sourcing for money and that is the end of their education. A situation that is common in Oyo state.

I believe that is the reason many state governments are paying WAEC and NECO fees from their purse to encourage students to read hard. A student that knows his/her parent will not be able to pay for WAEC can never be serious in school.

Makinde’s education policy is to be paying law school fees for Oyo indigenous students, other professions are not important to him. Will all the students’ study law?

Immediately I saw the ‘sallah gift’ of Makinde’s education policy, I knew that the governor touted education ‘free’ policy would fail because the idea to stop the meager fee is not well cooked, and destined to fail.

I don’t know Governor Makinde as an educationist, but from what we read about his education is that he read engineering at the Obafemi Awolowo University, and the engineering faculty shares no course with education. So where is the correlation?

 

If not that his only using the state as SIWES training, one would have expected him, to calm down, have a thorough feasibility study of the situation, gather professional think-thank before hopping of scoring a political point.

The inauguration arena is not a place to make quick policy-decision, it’s the first assignment that ushers in a new government. He never asked how they are spending the fees collected, and how is the rate of compliance. The N3000 ‘fees’ introduced by Ajimobi’s has not raised any protest but rather put secondary education on a path of greatness.

While commending the governor’s move to recruit more teachers for the state, one needs to remind him that indefinite postponement of their employment letters will do more harm, and any means to politicized the process will spell doom for the state.

Today, primary and secondary schools are written exam question on the chalkboard, something that has never happened before. I see it as an abomination. The state government is not proud of his achievement in education at all. It’s not about payment of salary alone.

 

I don’t know how the governor feels knowing that he has failed in his education policy, my fear and sadness is that it would have a resultant effect on the future of the children. I pray he act fast and do the needful. Else, the governor is preparing the ground for many ‘Auxilliary’ in the future.

Those praise-singing Makinde today would be disappointed when they are playing the video of his tenure for him tomorrow. When someone has failed on education, tell me what is left in governance that is important? What we saw is buying of ‘official’ vehicles to party loyalists to the detriment of the children of the populace.

As a responsible government, one should know how to make a U-turn especially when your policy is not getting the expected result.

Recently, the West African Examination performance was displayed for the public, the position of Oyo State has reduced drastically compared to the uncelebrated position they were before the beginning of Makinde’s administration. One would have expected the governor to call for the education policy template using in Anambra state, but alas, he only brags as only PDP governor of the South-West with nothing to emulate.

The peanut allocation Oyo State is getting is being spent on election frivolities that have nothing to benefit to the state, the worst is that some people who are not from the state are the ones celebrating the audio governor who has failed to improve the education system.

 

Am not asking you to agree with me, but write it down, if care is not taken, Makinde would turn Pacesetter to something else and all of us would bear the consequence.

I agree with the submission of Fatai Olansile PhD who stressed that education is never a scam but the drivers of the education (government) at all levels that scammed the seekers of knowledge.

Fatai Abiodun, ICT expert cum Public Affairs Analyst writes from Abuja, hails from Ibadan.



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