Let me start by congratulating the Chairman and members of the Board of SUBEB on their appointment to serve the State on this very important platform. I am aware of the expectation of the people of our dear State concerning the discharge of this clear mandate in the education sector. I need not impress it on these men and women, on whose shoulders this onerous responsibility lies, that the task ahead is enormous.
Our dear State earned an enviable reputation as the bastion of intellection in the past. This glory was not a product of happenstance, our forbears worked assiduously to achieve greatness. The development of the society was anchored on a steady and clear-headed principle of applying knowledge to solve socio-economic problems.
Aspirations towards the attainment of lofty objectives were not mere expressions of capricious preferences. The founding fathers of this land toiled ceaselessly to make us prosper. The acquisition of knowledge was considered basic. They were convinced of its value. Education defines the quality of human existence. The training of human being is for the benefit of the society.
Those who preceded us appreciated this fact. Consequently, it was not uncommon to witness the proliferation of community schools established through direct labour and contributions of people who had come to terms with the reality of happenings in a modern world. Such was the spirit which propelled the society towards self sufficiency and prosperity.
Our land became a reference point for the best of values because of our undying belief in education. Agriculture blossomed, extension services yielded bountiful harvests.
We embraced the virtue inherent in hard work, holding tenaciously to the principle of applied knowledge as solution to challenges. There was no community without a functional primary school. Secondary schools were also established through communal efforts.
The story is, however, regrettably, different today. As we continue to live in the denial of the obvious, the challenges faced by us as a people is palpable in our precarious and perilous existence. As we continue to grapple with gross infrastructural deficit, one is bound to leave with the unmistakable impression of complacency, which finds loud expressions in our facile and embarrassing recourse to foreign assistance for the solution to, even the simplest, of our myriad of problems. It is disgraceful, and this is being charitable, to pretend that all is well while no public school truly deserves to be regarded as such.
I am, therefore, highly delighted to welcome you all to the occasion of the inauguration ceremony of the Board of Ondo State Universal Basic Education. The constitution of the SUBEB Board, which includes the Education Secretaries at the Local Government Education Areas, is a great step towards repositioning education at the basic level, which is one of the major priorities of this government.
The Board is charged with the statutory responsibility of administering the Basic Education Programme and Policies of Government in Ondo State, in line with the UBE Act of 2014. This forms part of the Federal Government’s strategic response to the global Education for All (EFA) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In this regard, the board oversees the execution of;
- Early Childcare Development and Education
- Six years of Primary Education
- Three years of Junior Secondary Education
In line with the law establishing the Board, a full time Chairman has been appointed to be supported by two full time members, Ex-officio members, representing the three Senatorial Districts and other Board members. They have been selected, carefully, based on their impeccable track records in previous appointments and their pedigree as patriots. This is in accordance with our determination to put round pegs in round holes. Our decision is always based on the overall objective of ensuring that the welfare of our people is given highest consideration at all times.
Our determination to revamp the educational sector stems from the desire to put a stop to the declining standard in quality of primary education in Ondo State. As you are all aware, various factors are responsible for the current parlous state, as observed by our government’s Strategic Development and Policy Implementation Committee (SDPIC) in its recent Report on Education and Technology. We will, to the best of our ability, ensure that education receives the necessary attention. This is the only realistic way through which our quest for technological development can be considered seriously.
Let me at this juncture congratulate the Chairman and Board Members of the Board for this well deserved recognition and appointment. I equally want to challenge you to always be mindful of the axiom which holds that to whom much is given, much is equally required. Our government, our party and our people look up to you for the deployment of your vast knowledge and wealth of experience to salvage the basic education subsector from total collapse.
We, on our part, will continue to engage all sectors, insisting on best practices in the discharge of our mandate to serve the people. We will remain resolute and focused. We will not be distracted by issues extraneous to the well being of the mass of the people. Their welfare shall continue to be the guiding principle of our Administration.
In this regard, the Government will not tolerate any frivolities, the type often associated with appointments such as these ones. I enjoin you to shun and resist all overtures which are evidently inimical to the set objectives of our government. This Administration will t monitor the activities of the Board with keen interest.
We expect renovation work on dilapidated structures in all our primary and junior secondary schools to commence in earnest. We anticipate keen supervision of projects in this regard. No contractor should hope to receive a certificate of performance for any shoddy job. This Administration will hold consultants and appointees vicariously liable for any bad job.
I must also not fail to charge all stakeholders in the primary education level to join hands with the team to ensure that we lay a solid foundation for education at this lowest rung of the social ladder. It is only through our collective insistence on thinking and acting anew that the desired glory of education, for which our dear Sunshine State was highly reputed, can be attained.
The inauguration of the Board should herald positive development in the education sector. I am confident that the basic education system will receive the desired facelift in terms of infrastructural development through the renovation of dilapidated school structures, improvement in the art of teaching and learning, adequate monitoring of teachers, as well as improvement in capacity building and welfare of teachers.
Ladies and gentlemen, as part of the series of lined up programmes to resuscitate the education sector, permit me to use this forum to invite you, officially, to the State Education Summit, which is scheduled to hold on 26th and 27th of this month. The summit is, no doubt, a veritable vehicle through which stakeholders are brought to speak on the state of education in the State.
Experts and critical stakeholders are expected to brainstorm on issues bordering on the challenges facing education at all levels with a view to devising means of reversing the declining trend.
Ladies and gentlemen, I appreciate you all for listening.
Thank you and God bless you all.
THE BOARD HAS BEEN CONSTITUTED AS FOLLOWS:
Chairman – Princess Oladunni Odu
Full Time Member I – Princess Olufunmilayo Brown
Full Time Member II – Mr. Tayo Isaac Fayanju
EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS REPRESENTING THE THREE SENATORIAL DISTRICTS
Augustine Oloruntogbe – North
Adebiyi Ayannuola – Central
George Adenikinju – South
OTHER BOARD MEMBERS:
i. Alhaji Owolaja Abimbola A. – PTA
ii Comrade Victor Oladele Amoko – NUT
iii Mrs Ronke Ojo – Women Group
THE EDUCATION SECRETARIES ARE:
Mr. J. M Oredola – Ose
Mr. Ajibola Adegoroye – Owo
Mr. Femi Kure – Akoko South East
Mr. Akogun Olugbenga Omole – Akoko South West
Mr. Oyeniyi Oseni – Akoko North East
Mrs Folakemi Ogunsile – Akoko North West
Mr, Isaac Adu – Akure South
Mr. Samuel Olowere – Akure North
Mr Alalabiaye Ojo Victor – Idanre
Mr Taye Adegbemigbe – Ifedore
Mr Mathew Muroof Bada – Ondo West
Mr Ola Feyide – Ondo East
Mr J. O. Ojigi – Ese-Odo
Mr. Olamigoke Jatuwase – Ilaje
Mr Sunday Oyepitan – Okitipupa
Mr Johusa Adebusoye Oloruntosin Joshua Babarere – Irele
Mr. Charles Meroyi – Odigbo
Mrs Bukky Abike Oluderu – IleOluji.