While this is not entirely new having been mentioned at several fora by the Trustees, especially Mr. Sobande, retired Head of Service of Ogun State, certain recent developments have made it necessary to re-iterate these policies once again.
EIDWN, most especially its most visible program – Campaign for Alma Mater Endowments is a divine mandate and vision. It is a call to public service that demand hefty sacrifice from whosoever heeds this call. The Trustees and our staff in EIDWN are united by these two imperatives of service and sacrifice.
we at EIDWN are under no illusion as to the telling personal impact of these sacrifices over the long stretch of time required for the NGO to find its feet across the entire South West States. It’s been running for five years now, since 1st Quarter 2016, and God has been gracious to have respect on our modest sacrifices.
The burden of the NGO – financial and operational – weighs heavily on the 4 Trustees, who are retired citizens and our children who keep the office running. To get this far, I will need to share with you the nature of sacrifices we routinely make at EIDWN.
Donation of our personal vehicles
Sale of landed properties to fund the NGO,
Donation of personal domestic and office items especially furniture and equipment.
Monthly payment of salaries and bills
Multi-tasking our staff to conserve funds
We have had to severely curtail our social commitments to accommodate all these. For quite a while now, there is no elaborate parties – burial, wedding, birthday, chieftaincy, anniversaries for any of us. Save for this building, we have received no help of whatever nature.
While it is much easier to have this vision of a gratifying education system well received generally, it is certainly delusory to expect, in appreciable numbers, disciples of self-sacrifice in the mould described above.
We will continue to pray that God who called us into this mission will generously endow us without exception with the appropriate disposition towards the challenges of the assignment.
As this year runs to an end, let us dwell and meditate seriously on this twin-call for service and sacrifice and come to a honest decision on our decree of involvement in the delivery of this divine mandate in future. I sincerely remind you that “Do Something!” appreciate the most modest of efforts and contributions.
The history of the evolution, trajectory, glorious zenith, decline and current crisis of Western Education as provided by Government has been so much chronicled that little space will be devoted to that in this presentation. The focus will be on the solution to the present dilemma.
Nonetheless, retrospection is still required to isolate the secret to the success of our glorious past and identify those stem-borers that destroyed Education as the faithful bastion of our greatness as a people. We need to learn from history and respect history so we don’t end up as casualties of history. In this wise, the identification of the key players and their contributions as well as the specific era in the history of our education will be undertaken.
On the basis of Government Policy, 4 phases (Era) are clearly identifiable as well as 3 key Players:
Regional Administration to inception of the 2nd Republic;
2nd Republic 1979 – December 1983; and
1984 till date
I Colonial Era
Academic standards tied to Britain and therefore globally recognised;
Education by spread was provided largely by Missionary agencies;
Education available at costs (fees) determined by the intersection of Missionary sacrifice and gaps in total funding. Student’ sponsors have to fill in the revenue gap in the provision of standard education;
Market demand for educated labour was virtually insatiable;
Education was therefore easily recognised as a short-cut key to success and greatness;
Education of individuals was generally regarded as a choice investment for families, communities and other interest groups. Savings and loans were readily deployed to achieve this objective.
II Regional Administration-Inception of 2nd Republic (1979) – FREE EDUCATION
Academic standards tied to Britain and therefore globally recognised;
Education by spread was provided largely by missionary agencies, communities and individuals;
Government became a major financier of education at Primary Education level;
Market demand for educated labour remains encouraging;
Education continued to represent a viable route to success and therefore a wise investment.
III 2nd Republic 1979 – 1983
Radical Policy shift emanated from political Manifesto of the then ruling party – Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) – in the South West.
Free Education at both Primary and Secondary school levels became a policy;
Ownership of all schools at these levels were compulsorily taken over by State Governments;
The then Federal structure (19 States) was relatively favourable and national economy buoyant (Pre-SAP era of #1 to at least $1) and generally supported the implementation success of the policy.
Alarm Bells for Future Crisis
The policy planted the seed of:
(a) Abdication of responsibilities in respect of their wards for funding and general interest in education on the part of parents, guardians, families, communities and religious organisations;
(b) Mass production of school leavers for a Nigerian economy heading for decline was an invitation to employment crisis; and
(c) Local artisans and technician were denied their regular supply of apprentices and the future dearth of this vital skills, with grave consequences for the larger economy, was sealed.
IV1984 till date
Unfavourable winds started blowing against the Free Education Policy:
The supporting political platform had been swept away in a military coup;
19-State Federal structure eventually ballooned to 36 and Naira – the indicator of our national economic health – plummeted to about #350 to a $1
With huge funding gaps emerging, a logical sacrifice had to be made of one for the other:
(a) Free Education; or
(b) Quality Education.
Most unfortunately, Governors prefer to sloganeer and sink under the burden of their Western Region legacy of “Free Education” even when clearly this is unsustainable without compromising Education that is fit-for-purpose (gainful employment etc.); and
Today, our educational Institutions are largely infrastructural shambles that speak as much of the quality of their products.
Summary of Review:
“Free Education” has become a fallacy under our present circumstances.
Sustainable Education for the FUTURE
We have the proud legacy of being World-class leaders in the field of Education. Free Education has proved, in our contemporary setting, to be an abysmal failure as a policy vehicle to maintain even relevance, not to mention leadership.
Considering other options as a way forward, we need to vault over the threshold of AFFORDABILITY of education. Affordable products do not necessarily assure best quality – just as Mazda cannot compare with Mercedes or Maroko with Banana Island! The only policy that can restore our primacy in Education is ACCESSIBLE Education.
To grasp the essence of Accessible Education as a policy, we have to move from the known to the unknown. We already appreciate the fact that Government cannot singularly fund quality Education. Accessible Education as a policy seeks to creatively cultivate and develop both private endowment and investment in Education to address the funding gap in the provision of world-class education.
Fees payable by beneficiaries of Education, training and general capacity development will be a function of the short-fall in total budget for standard education of each institution net of Government fund and endowment.
Thus, Government will do well to court the favour of such major interests as Old Students, Founders, Communities and public-spirited individuals – singular or corporate – to boost the flow of endowment resources. When Government took over schools from churches and other founders, pastors suddenly discover the taste and resources for private jets and flamboyance. Governments should wake up and get its acts together!
9. Families and communities used to pool resources to sponsor their promising children to colleges. Free Education weakens the communal role so badly that even the oversight and monitoring of the performance of students were abandoned. They became children and wards of the Governors and truancy, cultism and general indiscipline ensured our schools can only produce garbage. Parents and guardians must be held primarily responsible for the Education of their children and wards.
Where charity and good will has failed to provide the required fund for the training of particular individuals, financial institutions will have to be established to provide Student Loans. It should be readily provided on the basis of such considerations as:
Economic relevance/marketability of the course (prospect of loan recovery);
Responsible, low-risk life-style of the applicant (this will steer students away from such high-risk behaviour like cultism); and
BVN to eliminate abscondment and repayment default.
11. The financial institutions are not just meant to provide Student loans. Really, their major portfolio will be in the provision of funds for capital commitments on projects such as research and infrastructural development of institutions to meet global standards. For reasons of economies of scales and Regional Integration Agenda of the South West, the Education Bank should also operate along that parallel.
In ownership and management of educational Institutions, Government is required to shed weight and retain only what could be maintained in line with world best practices. Being such a radical departure from our recent experience, a lot of paper work, consultations and advocacy will be involved.
However, certain measure and decisions are obviously germaine and are recommended for consideration. For instance, from the outset, funding inadequacy is a critical factor that threw up this policy of Accessible Education and the need for Government to shed weight for the assurance of quality education.
As a way forward therefore Government should return schools to their original owners and communities and limit itself only to the payment of salaries of Government Staff in those schools;
The overhead and capital expenses of the schools will be borne by the owners and their students;
The foregoing by no means precludes the Government from putting in place a system of subvention for those schools subject to availability of funds; and
The schools’ owners are at liberty to recruit staff of their choice but such will not be enrolled on Government wages bill.
Social Responsibility by Citizens
With over 60years of Free Education, there is hardly any adult that has not benefitted in varying degrees from that policy. This has been taken for granted all the years of Free Education and Old Students seldom return to their Alma Mater to impart on their welfare. Government should instigate an attitudinal change.
Citizens must be required to furnish evidence of Social Responsibility, as alumnus, to their alma mater to enjoy Government Services;
While schools are encouraged to form Old Students Associations, the larger membership of the majority of these Associations devote virtually their entire resources to personal welfare and mundane social matters. The alma mater is utterly neglected.
In engaging Old Students of schools therefore, being necessary, Government should be careful to identify and engage only genuinely committed Development Partners among them (not the food-pack and souvenir hunters). Such engagements should be regular with well-defined and passionately driven agenda.
Quality of Education
Adequate fees to attain and maintain the requisite standard for products marketable both locally and globally must be charged by Vocational, Technical Colleges and Tertiary Institutions.
Private Funding of Education Sector, in the foreseeable future, is the only sustainable option to guarantee the quality of education, knowledge acquisition and general capacity development that can rule the world. We are richly endowed with the intellectual, professional and investment giants required to midwife such a financial institution and its operation in the South West. Ogun State should raise the clarion call for this to happen.
If the funding challenges of Education are decisively addressed by shedding weight by Government to allow dilution in the ownership and management of the schools, the old rivalries and competition for glory in the system will be revived. This is the spirit that drives our supremacy and greatness.
May we find the courage and political will to dare and do the needful.
As part of efforts to sensitize the Public and Old Students’ Associations to give back to their Alma Maters, the Ogun State Chapter of Conference of Old Students and Alumni Associations of Western Nigeria held the 2019 Alma Mater Day Celebration in the three (3) Senatorial Districts of Ogun State.
The Conference of Old Students and Alumni Associations of Western Nigeria, Ogun State Chapter, organiser of the events posited that the purpose of celebrating the event in the 3 Senatorial Districts of the state was to take the Educational Initiative Campaign and Advocacy to the grassroots for better appreciation and ownership.
The events were held on Tuesday 11th of June at Ogun East, Sagamu, followed by Ogun West at Ayetoro on Tuesday 18th June and ended at Ogun Central in Odeda on Tuesday 25th June.
The Ogun East event was held at Ansar-Ud-Deen Primary School Hall, Awolowo Road, Makun, Sagamu, that of Ogun West was held at United Primary School Ayetoro, Yewa North, while the celebration of Ogun Central took place at Methodist Primary School, Odeda.
OGUN EAST SENATORIAL DISTRICT
The 2019 Alma Mater Day celebration for Ogun East which took place on Tuesday 11th of June, 2019 and was presided on by the Conference Chairman, Prof. Delana Adelekan, who advocated for the establishment of strong and virile Old Students’ Associations in Primary Schools as the case in Secondary and Tertiary Institutions since Primary Schools are said to be the foundation of literacy, it must be supported to deliver quality education to pupils.
On his part, the Managing Trustee of Educational Initiative for Development in Western Nigeria, Mr. Adebowale Thompson noted that the Initiative will continue to collaborate with other stakeholders to revamp the educational fortune of the States in the Western Region.
Also speaking at the event, the Akarigbo and Paramount Ruler of Remoland, Oba Dr. Ajayi who was represented by the Asoju Oba of Remoland, Engr. Obafemi Osasanwo urged philanthropists to focus attention to the Primary Schools by supporting their areas of need for the overall development of education.
The event was attended by Pupils from 17 Schools from Sagamu Zone and pupils from Ansar-Ud-Deen Primary School, Awolowo Road, Makun, Sagamu. In attendance also were Old Students’ Associations, Education Administrators, Teachers, Civil Society representatives, among others. Dignitaries at the event included the Asoju Oba of Remoland, Eng. Obafemi Osasanwo, representing the Akarigbo; Zonal Education Secretary, Mrs. Anifowose; former Head of Service, Elder Sola Adeyemi mni; Managing Trustee, Mr. Adebowale Thompson; Chairman of the Conference, Prof Delana Adelekan; Association of Primary School Headteachers of Nigeria (AOPSHON) Chairman, Comrade Ogungbesan; Civic Service Action Coalition on Education for All (CSCEFA) Chairperson, Mrs. Taiwo Adebanjo; Chief (Mrs.) Falilat Ogunkoya MON;Vice Chairman of the Conference, Engr Ademola Agboola; Assistant Secretary of the Conference, Mr. T. I. Opaleye; Conference PRO, Mr. Tola Adenekan among others.
The Guest Speaker at the event, Alhaji Saliu Isola Oni, Home Secretary, Remo Secondary School Old Students Association 61/65 set, advised Government to see Old Students’ Associations as partners in progress for constructive engagement. He urged Old Students’ Associations to also consider academic performance of their Alma Mater through the institution of prizes and awards to students, just as they provide infrastructure. The lecture was followed by an interactive session.
Contributing, a former Head of Service, Elder Sola Adeyemi said more efforts should be put in sensitizing and encouraging Old Students’ to go back to their Primary schools, noting that the present pupils in the schools are leaders of tomorrow.
The event also featured songs, cultural and drama presentation by pupils.
Pictures from the event:
OGUN WEST SENATORIAL DISTRICT
The 2nd leg of the 2019 Alma Mater Day Celebration took place at United Primary School, Ilogun, Ayetoro. The event which was presided over by the Chairman, Conference of Old Students and Alumni Associations of Western Nigeria, Prof Delana Adelekan, paraded an array of dignitaries including the Managing Trustee of Educational Initiative, Mr. Adebowale Thompson, former Head of Service, Elder Sola Adeyemi, Provost College of Agricultural Science, Prof. John Aihonsu, Former National President of RATTAWU and retired Permanent Secretary, Dr. Yemisi Bamgbose, Former Permanent Secretaery Mr. Owodeyi, Mrs. Ikumapayi from Sagamu, Engr. Kayode Adeniji, Mr. Taiwo Opaleye, Mr. Tola Adenekan, Mr. Wale Olanrewaju and officials of the Educational Initiative for Development in Western Nigeria.
The Patron, Conference of Old Students and Alumni Associations of Western Nigeria, Prof. ‘Biyi Afonja was represented by Engr. R. A. Afonja.
At the event, the first Primary School Old Students’ Association in Western Nigeria was formally inaugurated at the United Primary School, Ayetoro, Yewa North Local Government of Ogun State.
The Association Pioneer members which included a Former Head of Service in Ogun State, Elder Sola Adeyemi and the Provost College of Agricultural Sciences, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Prof John Aihonsu were charged to mobilise others to support the School which provided them with foundational education.
The Chairman Conference of Old Students and Alumni Associations of Western Nigeria, Ogun State Chapter, Prof. Delana Adelekan inaugurated the newly constituted Old Students’ Association of United Primary School, Ayetoro at the close of the event. He commended the bold step taken by Elder Sola Adeyemi and other pioneers of the association and noted that the quality of primary education is a determinant for students’ academic successes in secondary and tertiary institutions.
Speaking at the inauguration, former Head of Service, Elder Sola Adeyemi pledged that the old students will take up the ceiling project of the School Hall as their first assignment; he also lauded the present administration in Ogun State, led by Prince Dapo Abiodun, for declaring a State of Emergency in the education sector, which he said was in decay and needed urgent attention.
The Guest Lecturer, Director Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Dr. Waheed Olanloye urged Head Teachers to keep adequate records and pictures of their graduating students saying such will provide a reference for the old students to start their Association later in life when they are better off.
Represented by the Zonal Education Officer, Yewa North, Alhaji Lawal Adebola, Dr. Olanloye maintained that aside infrastructural support, Old Students’ Associations could help in the area of instructional materials, donations of awards and prizes, educational tours and sponsorship of indigent but brilliant students.
Other speakers at the event including Prof. Afonja, Dr. Yemisi Bamgbose and Mr. Adebowale Thompson maintained that nothing is too small to give back to one’s alma mater. They also called for serious attention to support primary schools.
Pictures from the event:
OGUN CENTRAL 2019 ALMA MATER DAY CELEBRATION
The third leg of the 2019 Alma Mater Day Celebration came up at Methodist Primary School, Odeda on Tuesday 25th June, 2019. The event was coordinated by the Education Secretary of Odeda Zonal Education office, Mr. Adeboye; the Head teacher of Methodist Primary School, Odeda – Mr Somoye Musiliu, and the Association’s contact person Mr. Festus Ogunkola. Other dignitaries that attended the event included the Chairman of Odeda Local Government, Alhaji Bola Lawal, and the Chairman of PTA Methodist Primary School, Odeda, school teachers and representatives of 13 primary schools from the Local Government.
The Conference Chairman who presided over the event stressed on the importance and essence of Old Students’ Associations in the Primary Schools. He enjoined those present to encourage others to establish Old Students’ Associations in the area.
Mr. Festus Ogunkola delivered the lecture at the event and spoke extensively on the role and importance of Old Students Associations in the primary schools. It was followed by an interactive session. Pupils of Methodist Primary School entertained invited guests with cultural display. Finally, goodwill messages were delivered by some dignitaries at the event.
Our NGO, Educational Initiative for Development in Western Nigeria (EIDWN) is primarily interested in the strategic role of Education in socio-economic development. The current policy of criminalisation of cottage industries in crude oil refinery and its negative impact on the development and contribution of indigenous technology to socio-economic growth is therefore the basis of our concern.
2. The apparent futility of eradication of illegal oil refinery (like prohibition of local gin production in the ‘50s and ‘60s) on a permanent basis seems to be indicative of a faulty or outdated diagnosis of the problem and inappropriate response. The growing trend in spite of harsh aggressive military measures by Government calls for a drastic review of policy to stream-line same with this natural phenomenon in the national interest.
Cottage Crude-oil Refineries as Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMSE) Benefits
3. When SMSE crude-oil refinery is legitimised and supported by Government the following game-changing benefits accrue to the economy:
The energy for militancy and criminality especially in the oil-producing areas is defused and re-directed towards peaceful and productive ventures;
The de-criminalization of cottage refinery activities will facilitate regulation, monitoring and control for acceptable standards in the industry;
Massive employment generation and economic growth is spurred as in the case of China and India, in particular, where SMSE cottage industries laid the foundation for their economic emergence and greatness;
Penetration, dissemination and acquisition of skills and technology transfer is faster, wider and better sustained;
Encouragement and development of indigenous skills in yet another sphere just as the South East, especially the Nnewi axis – in fabrication;
Value-chain development and economic contribution of crude-oil is deepened;
De-criminalisation and regulation will bring current clandestine operators and industry into formal Tax Net; and
Incidents of pipe-line vandalisation, wastage of crude-oil / finished products and environmental pollution will significantly subside.
These are some of the key direct discernible benefits of legalisation of SMSE operations of the crude-oil refinery sector.
It is our fervent prayer and hope that Government will find the political will and enablement to give immediate effect (Ministries of Commerce, Industry, Education, Science and Technology in particular) to this, for the overall good of our dear people that it has sworn to serve.
An interactive session with the Presidents and Secretaries of Old Students Associations in Remo Zone was held on Wednesday 20th February, 2019 at Remo Secondary School, Sagamu. There, two members present were appointed as coordinator and secretary for the zone in other to sustain full participation of members. Equally, it was agreed that a Whatsapp group be formed for wider participation and effective mobilization of members.
The Executives of the Campaign for Alma Mater Endowments on Friday 21st September visited the Ogun State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) led by its Chairman Alhaji Razak Ikupoliyi.
The visiting excos comprising delegates of EIDWN and excos of Campaign for Alma Mater Endowments Executive Committee (CAMEEC) after expressing their gratitude to the board for receiving them, stated their mission, objectives and sought the support of the Board as the grassroots mobilizer to reach target communities and to join the crusade with every machinery at their disposal through the various committees to sound the message “Do Something!” Furthermore the delegates of the Campaign for Alma mater Endowments requested the involvement of one the SUBEB’s members in its meeting and activities to enable faster decision making and alignment with governmental goals.
In his response, the Chairman of SUBEB, Alhaji Jeleel Okewole appreciated the delegates for finding time to delve into the challenges of the nation, spending time and resources to improve the condition of the education sector particularly in the State. He stated that the problem is largely due to the continual increase in students’ enrolment which does not match the existing provision and infrastructures. Despite the allocation of 25% of the State budget to education, most of which goes to the teachers’ salaries. He lamented the negligence of parents to the welfare of their wards. Alhaji Okewole however expressed hope and confidence in the policy direction from bottom to top as proposed and designed by the NGO. He therefore promised the unflinching support of his board to the excos.
In the same vein, on Tuesday, 4th September 2018, representatives of EIDWN and Campaign for Alma Mater Endowments Executive Committee visited the Ogun State House of Assembly under the leadership of the Honourable Speaker, Prince Suraj Adekunbi to seek partnership in the quest to restore the past glories of the education sector across the State.
Warmly, the Deputy Speaker ably representing the speaker expressed his gratitude to the delegates for their commitment to the development of education in the State and assured the support of the entire members of the House of Assembly to the Campaign after revealing that most of them are leading by example in their various constituencies.
On Friday 17th August, members of the Conference of Old Students and Alumni Associations and Trustees of the EIDWN visited the students at the Ogun State 2018 Summer Camp located at Akinale to encourage and advise them. The visiting team commended the Ogun State Government for the world class standard of the Camp after a vibrant interactive session between the participants and the delegates.
The quarterly interactive session with stakeholders in the education sector organized by the Conference of Old Students and Alumni Associations of Western Nigeria, Ogun State Chapter held on Wednesday 15th August, 2018 at the NGO’s Regional Office, Oke-Mosan and was well attended by delegates from:
Ministry of Education Science and Technology
Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM)
State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB)
All Nigeria Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS)
Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT)
Association of Primary School Head teachers of Nigeria, Ogun State (AOPSHON)
Academic Staff Union of Secondary school Ogun State (ASSUSS)
Community Development Association, Ogun State (CDA)
Donor Relations Office, Office of the Head of Service, Governor’s Office Abeokuta.
Centre for Grass root Education Health Care Empowerment (CEGEHCE)
Civic Service Action Coalition on Education for All (CSACEFA)
Before the short remarks by the Head of Service was the address of the Chairman of the Conference followed by the showcase of sample pictures of donations made by Old Students and Old Students’ Associations to their Alma Mater.
The highlight of the meeting which is the interactive session and remarks by the invited delegates followed immediately. It was generally testified that the Campaign for Alma Mater Endowments which charges everyone to “Do Something” for his/her Alma Mater no matter how little is bearing good fruits progressively.
The Managing Trustee of EIDWN gave the closing remarks while Mrs. Olusola Apampa an exco of the Conference gave the vote of thanks after the reading of the communique by the Conference Secretary Alhaji Kunle Adegbite.
The meeting which was covered by radio stations in the State ended with a group photograph.
The EIDWN on Tuesday 26th June, attended the Ogun State Standing Committee meeting of the Ogun State Community Development Council (CDC) at Opo Hall, Ipokia to sensitize them about the “Campaign for Alma Mater Endowments”. The State Chairman of the CDC Alhaji R. K Ikupoliyi in his comment after the Managing Trustee’s speech and the interactive session stressed that it is every citizen’s responsibility to give back to his/her old school.
While appreciating the CDC for the opportunity to address its people, the NGO requested partnership towards restoring the past glories of education in Western Nigeria starting from the communities. The proposal requested each CDA or groups of CDAs to choose a Project school which they would be attending to after choosing one of the different proposed means suggested to get funds. 10% of the funds gathered for such project will be retained by the Community Development Association (CDA) as administrative expenses however belongs to the CDC. It was requested that this activity be recorded into the agenda of every community meeting.