Osun State has inaugurated one of the mega schools under the education reform programme of Governor Rauf Aregbesola named Wole Soyinka Government High School located in Ejigbo, Osun State. The project is said to be worth N750 million.
Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, who described the Federal Government’s failure to rescue the missing Chibok girls as shameful, described the school as an “emphatic rejection of what Boko Haram insurgents preach”.
The school is a 3,000-capacity complex with 72 classrooms of 49 square-metre, each capable of sitting 49 pupils. It has six offices for study groups.
It is equipped with six laboratories, 18 toilets for girls and 18 for boys, one science library, one arts library, facility manager’s office, a bookshop and a sick bay.
Soyinka praised Aregbesola, saying he was elated that such honour was bestowed on him. He pledged to visit the school often to see how it was faring.
“It is a shame that the nation cannot account for over 200 girls in Chibok. I sympathise with the religious policy of governments in school; children must not be brought up feeling that religion inhibits knowledge.
“In schools, we need not distinguish our children, the fatalistic religious holiness and the holier-than-thou attitude must be reduced among our pupils.”
Speaking at the ceremony, Governor Aregbesola said although the cost of the school was huge, it was a worthy investment.
He promised that within the first quarter of next year his government would inaugurate another set of schools in the same category.
He said no government could overspend on education, adding that education was a human resource and the primary way any family could get a lasting benefit from the government.
“We can build a good road that will last for 50 years and we are doing that, but this can never compare to the enlightenment an educated person receives, in terms of its value to the society and humanity.
“The state of education prior to our coming was appalling and frighteningly so. Zoos were better than the places where pupils were receiving knowledge. Many of them were dilapidated and falling down.
“These schools were, therefore, not encouraging any serious learning or character building. The result was that the pupils were behaving like animals. They were forming cult groups, fighting regularly with weapons and engaging in immoral acts.
“These are children aged seven and above. My heart bled to see the public education system disintegrate and become dysfunctional.”
Aregbesola averred that it was befitting that Osun named the school after Soyinka, who he described as an excellent product of public education in Nigeria and a distinguished academic.