… gives recipe for education revival
Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, on Friday revealed that the late tele-evangelist, Archbishop Benson Idahosa, got his father converted to a born again Christian at a crusade in Ibadan, Oyo State in 1980 and that his father later donated the family’s only car to propagate evangelism.
Speaking in Benin while delivering the convocation lecture of the Benson Idahosa University (BIU) entitled “Education and actualisation”, Fayose said the decision of his father to give out the family’s only Peugeot salon car drew the anger of his six wives and 27 children who felt bad about the decision.
”Archbishop Benson Idahosa came to Ibadan in 1980 for a crusade and my father attended and he was converted and after Idahosa had finished preaching he said they should donate something for God’d work and since my father was converted and deeply touched, he gave out the family’s only Peugeot car.
“He changed the car’s ownership and particulars and brought it to Idahosa that he was donating it to support evangelism. Though the entire family was against it because we thought it would affect the family’s movement, the thing paid off in the end. Those who donated were prayed for by the Bishop.
“But today, God has prospered the family. It’s good to give to the Lord and when you do that you are sowing a seed that will germinate for the children and that is working for us now,” he said.
He added that he thanked God that before his father died, he was able to buy four different cars for him as a reward for his diligence and commitment to God and taking care of the family.
Fayose said what he wanted to bring out was the importance of giving to the Lord cheerfully.
He charged the management of the institution that the vision of the late Idahosa must not be allowed to die but upheld.
On political developments in the country, Fayose said Nigerians should expect two great events to happen soon that would determine where the nation would head to.
On what led to the rot in education, Fayose blamed the foundation laid by the colonialists.
Fayose said despite the billions of naira being spent on the education sector annually in the country, the nation is not reaping commensurate gains because education provided for us by the colonial government was not designed to prepare young men and women for the service of our country.
He opined that Instead it was motivated by an attempt to foist the values of the British on us and prepare us for the service of the colonial state.
The governor said it was rather unfortunate that instead of changing the course of education to meet our own local needs, successive leaderships seemed to toe the same line laid down by our colonialists and put undue premium on paper qualifications among others.
”For instance, it was not sufficient for us to learn, understand and speak the English language, but we must phonetise it the way the Briton speaks his mother language regardless of the incomparable sizes of our tongues and shapes of our noses.
“We were thus trained to become local clerks, white collar and administrative support staff and also to spread evangelical works. Up till now, everything we do stresses book knowledge.
“They underestimate the place of natural intelligence and street wisdom which are equally important and abound in our people some of whom do not have the opportunity or intellectual capacity for university education.
I am not however inferring that any person can be efficient as a result of age, or that educational qualifications are unnecessary.
“My position is that it is a mistake to over-value book knowledge as it is to under-value it. Our theoretical knowledge must be balanced with exposure which is the practical representation of education. I am of the opinion that the development gap between us and the advanced countries has a correlation with the fact that those countries mostly request for evidence of ability to perform tasks while we concentrate on asking for paper qualifications or certificates,” he stated.
He also called for a review of the entry age of children into elementary schools, saying “most of our children now enter primary schools before age 6 i.e when they are mostly infantile and therefore unconscious of the values of their immediate society.”
He also challenged parents to start the education of their children by inculcating family and societal values and acceptable behaviours in their children.
”Secondly and quite related is the scheduling of disciplines, curricular and syllabi in our schools.
In most of our institutions, departments and course contents still exist the way they were handed over to us by the British. Our students are prepared for tailor-made studies designed to pass stereotyped examinations.
”Similarly, the examinations our students write are geared to certain international benchmarks which do not take cognizance our local peculiarities and needs. We need to reflect on the type of education we need to provide and thereafter select aspects of our syllabus and curriculum that are capable of delivering such outcomes,” he added.
While frowning at the misuse of social media and information and communication technology by youths, he charged them to know that the future of the country rests on their shoulders.
Fayose praised the foresight of the late Archbishop Benson Idahosa that led to the setting up the BIU.
He charged the management of BIU to make sure that the institution leads the in the revival of education from its comatose state.
While fielding question after the delivering the lecture Fayose said handlers of the sector must live their words and put those concerned on the driver seat.
”I withdrew my sons from Olashore International School in Osun State and put them in SUBEB Schools in Ado-Ekiti. My sons attended institutions in Nigeria. Many people in the country say something and do other things,” he added.
He also advised youths not to inherit the enemies of their political leaders they know nothing about.
He charged Nigerians to critically examine their leaders before voting them into office.
On how he would actualise his dream of leading the country, Fayose said he would only align. himself with God’s power, saying with God nothing is impossible.