-Says They are Naïve and Ignorant
Yetunde Oladejo, Osogbo
The Bureau of Communication and Strategy, Office of the Governor of Osun state, Wednesday, described those calling for the resignation of Governor Rauf Aregbesola over the last West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) result as naive and ignorant of statistics.
The bureau stated that the call was from the usual lack of knowledge of performance charts and attention to details that the opposition elements are notorious for.
In a statement signed by the Director of Bureau, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, a copy of which was made available to newmen in Osogbo said that records and statistics of students put forward by the state in the past years have shown that there is improvement in percentage of overall results.
Okanlawon pointed out that critics have forgotten that to get the true performance of a student, a mere look at the position of the student in a class is not as important as the percentage of total scores.
The Bureau noted that the downward trend in education in the country should make all worrisome due to the role of education in development.
Okanlawon stated that Aregbesola’s administration efforts and intervention in education has been massive and that there has been qualitative and quantitative improvement in the performance of pupils and general education of youths.
Comparing results of students under previous administration and the present, the statement said, “Those who say Osun is declining are not being honest. The following data will show their claims to be totally unfounded. The performance of pupils has not gone down under the watch of Aregbesola.
“In 2007, the state government put forward 36,171 candidates for WAEC examination out of which 2,483 representing 6.86 per cent had credit pass in five subjects, including English and Mathematics.
“In 2008, it was 37,715 candidates with 3,813 pass, representing 10.11 per cent. In 2009 it was 39,676 candidates, with 5,545 pass, representing 13.98 per cent. In 2010 there were 43,216 candidates, with 6,777 pass, representing 15.68 per cent. If you put these four years together, you will get an average of 15.68 per cent.
“Put side by side when Aregbesola’s administration started sponsoring candidates for WAEC in 2011. That year, it fielded 53,293 candidates, had 11672 pass, representing 21.98 per cent. In 2012, it fielded 51,463 out of which 11,431 passed, representing 22.21 per cent. In 2013, it also fielded 47,013 candidates, recorded 9,301 pass, representing 19.78 per cent.
“In 2014, government sponsored 47,672 candidates, 9,316 of them passed, representing 19.54 per cent. The average performance for Aregbesola’s first four years was 20.88 per cent. Compared with the average performance (13.26 per cent) of the three years that preceded it, the percentage improvement in performance during Aregbesola’s tenure is a huge 57.46 per cent”.
The statement explained that the percentage improvement was result of strategic planning which the government of Aregbesola embarked upon to salvage the depressing state of education that was inherited.
“The first task of his administration was to convene an education summit which was chaired by Prof Wole Soyinka. Since then, all the interventions in the education sector have been the outcome of that summit,” the statement added
The Bureau pointed out that Aregbesola’s administration is constructing state-of-the art 100 elementary schools, 50 middle schools and 20 high schools out which 14 elementary schools, 15 middle schools and 11 high schools have been completed in addition to rehabilitating the existing ones.
These, according to the statement, were to first eradicate the deplorable learning environment which contribute largely to the decades of poor performance inherited.
The statement added that the ingenuity of the present administration in her school feeding programme tagged O-MEALS has provided the template for national adoption and implementation of free meals in schools.
It said that apart from the OMEALS, government’s interventions in the areas of recruitment of new teachers and improvement in the skills of the existing ones, increase in school running grants, instilling discipline in teachers and students are all geared towards a total reconstruction of the sector.
“It must be expected that these would naturally take time before they manifest fully. However, but we are gratified that after halting the rot, we have moved forward to build a virile education sector for our state.”