*Says reforms are painful but necessary
By LEKE ADESERI, South West Regional Editor & CHARLES KUMOLU
LAGOS—OSUN State governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has said that the recent reforms in the education sector in Osun, were not meant to inflict pains on the people, describing the policies as necessary.
He also noted that the restructuring was informed by the decay and dilapidation which the sector had witnessed in the past.
Aregbesola, who said this at an event convened by Ijesha community in Lagos, acknowledged that the reforms are generating pains.
His words: ‘’On the surface, it looks as if we are deliberately out to inflict pains with the reformation of our school system. Nothing close to that is our intention.
“Not at all! We saw the hopeless situation of our basic education system. Because of my experience with the comatose educational system in the state that we were about to inherit, even from the days of my campaigns, long before we assumed office, I made it very clear that we would carry out surgical action on it during our campaigns.
“ We mentioned our intention to the whole world that we will address the issue of poor and totally dilapidated educational infrastructure of basic education to aggressively solve the problem. But as usual, people do not take politicians serious because of their experience.
“Some of our policies are necessary but painful and may not be well accepted now. We are, however, convinced that surgery is not always pleasing and soothing to those who need it but the joy of recovery and healing afterwards more than compensate for the temporary pain of going under the knife.”
In addition, Aregbesola noted that the current restructuring is a product of an education summit, which was earlier convened in the state.
“Two months and 15 days after our inauguration, we put together a world summit on education in which all known experts on education in the world were called to help us look at the hopeless education state of our territory. They were there for two days under the leadership of Professor Wole Soyinka. Everything was dissected accordingly.
‘’But at that conference I addressed the gathering in my opening remarks that, left for me what I would have loved to do was to close down the schools for a period of one year or two years so as to be able to do what is necessary to education. This was my position, but of course, my view was too radical. The communique came with series of steps to be taken to revamp the education system and we have been at it since then.”
Continuing, he said: ‘’Rather than look at what we are doing as the best form to revamp education and ensure that our students have the best for our limited resources and maximisation of our resources for excellence and efficiency which has a whole of our efforts, sentiment and primordial issues were brought into it. The reformation of the school feeding system has led to the spending of N3.6 billion every year from primary 1 to 4 which makes us the only state that does so in Nigeria.”