By Kehinde Adejumo
Education has been universally adjudged as the key that unlocks the door of success and a passport to a better life. As a result, most parents make it a matter of must for their children to be educated.
However, the erroneous belief by most parents that public primary schools lack what it takes to give their children the required foundation, have prompted them to enroll their wards in private primary schools.
On assumption of office on February, 26 2017, Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, was clear about what is required to be done in the education sector of the Sunshine State as he set his agenda of providing functional education and for the citizens.
Before this administration took over, so many primary schools in the state were in bad shapes the roofs of some schools were blown off, no adequate classrooms and some pupils were learning under trees.
In order to revive primary education system in the state over 25 primary schools were selected in each of the 18 local government areas of the state for renovation. This is opposed to the previous arrangement, which involved building of few edifices in conspicuous areas for political expediencies at the expense of schools in towns and villages, which were dilapidated.
Arakunrin Akeredolu opted for an all- inclusive approach by paying N3.9 billion counterpart fund to the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) to secure N7.6 billion to finance basic education in the State. That approach has paid off.
Now, in Ondo State, whether you live in Abababubu in Idanre Local Government Area, Ikamu, Oka–Akoko in the North Senatorial District or Ibule, the suburb of the State Capital, Akure, is at least one decent standard primary school in the remote areas across the 18 Local government areas of Ondo State.
In less than two years in the saddle, Arakunrin Akeredolu has brought a silent revolution into the State; the results are visible, even to the opposition.
At the elementary level, a conducive environment has been provided.
Governor Akeredolu has successfully engendered a more holistic approach to putting the State back on track.
Akeredolu is making progress by leaps and bounds. In Ondo State public Primary Schools are now cynosure of all eyes .
A visit to some of the public primary schools by Special Focus showed that there is now a tremendous improvement in infrastructure and manpower development in nearly all public primary schools across the state.
At Salvation Army Primary School Ondo both the teachers and the pupils were full of joy due to the completion of a block of six classrooms that was started six months ago .
According to the Headmaster, Mr Taofik Abullassi, before now, the buildings were dilapidated. “We only had 25 pupils in the whole of the school, and even as a teacher in the school, l cannot tell people that this is my school. So many parents have withdrawn their children from the school. Teachers posted to the school request for transfer from the school.
“Today I’m proud to be a teacher in the school, the population of pupils has also tremendously increased.
“We thank the Akeredolu-led Administration for giving us a conducive atmosphere to teach and to learn. The situation is the same in Methodist Primary School Okeagula Primary school, in Ondo West Local Government Area. The buildings were not only completed, 100 chairs and lockers, set of computers, textbooks and generators to power the computer were provided.
The headmistress, Mrs Bukola Fasoro, thanked the Governor, saying that the gesture will raise the standard of education in the state.
She however, pleaded with the government to build fence round the school to provide security. She also requested for more teachers, as according to her, the teachers in the school are not enough.
Also speaking with Special Focus was Miss Titilayo Akinmuyisan, appreciated the Governor for providing the instructional materials they needed saying, “the serene environment will make learning fascinating and interesting”.
The Headmaster of St. Peters demonstrations Primary School Akure, Chief Gabriel Akintoye expressed his profound gratitude to the Akeredolu led Administration.
“The renovation that started barely few months ago have been completed and handed over to us. The new building has attracted more pupils to the school. Pupils’ enrollment in the school for the new session has increased compared to the previous years.
At St. Mathew Roman Catholic Primary school Ondo, the Headmistress, Mrs Aduni Ayorinde could not hide her joy when he was speaking with Special Focus she said the renovation has increased the number of enrollment in the school.
“Before now, the population of the pupils was 2000. In this new session, the number has jumped to 2500, one week to the start of the section and more people are still coming. I believe that before the registration of new intake closes, the number will be more than three thousand.
“Books from primaries four to six and other instructional materials were supplied. I’m happy that this is happening in my time.”
He pleaded with the Governor to employ more teachers in the school, saying that with the new intakes, the teachers in the school will not be enough to teach the pupils effectively.
The Chairman, Parents Teachers Association (PTA) of the school, Festus Fadegbe thanked the Governor, and pledged the support of the members of the association for the APC-led administration in the state.
“This has never happened before in the history of the school, for a Governor to build new schools, supply books, computers and its accessories and give the pupils food free of charge, this is unprecedented. We pledge our unalloyed loyalty to Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN- led administration”.
He requested that the school should be fenced round to prevent people with questionable characters from gaining access to it.
But in CAC Primary School Oke-Isegun and St Annes Primary school Okeagula, work is still ongoing, the contractors promised to complete the work before the end of the month.