Education as the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and values is one of the strongest values of life.
The administration of Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo state have achieved tremendously in the education sector within such a short period of less than one year in office and this has contributed to the sharp redirection to the path of economic growth of the state.
Prior to the emergence of governor Seyi Makinde, the state educational sector was in shambles as evident in the result of West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) of schools in the state and consequently its poor ranking at number 26 academically poor states in Nigeria.
Governor Makinde while designing his economic blueprint and preparing for governance must have spotted the deficiency in Oyo state educational system which informed the new all inclusive free and quality education structure that has not only become a template for quality education in Nigeria but has also received a wide international accolades.
Governor Seyi Makinde believes that irrespective of race, tribe, religion, and gender, education is the best tool that can make it possible for people to stand out and rub shoulders with other persons from different walks of life.
From the moment he was sworn in as the 18th Chief Security Officer of Oyo State and 9th executive governor of Oyo State, and realizing the damage caused the educational system by different levies and charges on parents thereby leading to astronomic number of out of school children, he quickly abolished the payment structure on education in both public primary and secondary schools as a strategy to win more souls back into the classrooms.
He did not only declare free and qualitative education, he also acknowledged that investment in knowledge pays the best interest.
From the beginning of his administration, a lot of monumental record have being made in educational sector of the state such as zero payment of fees, free texts and exercise books for pupils and students of across all public primary and secondary schools.
GSM as he is fondly called in his educational revamping strategy extended the motivational gestures to the teachers who are the custodians of knowledge by ensuring their now improved salary packages are paid not later than 25th day of every month in addition to assess to car and housing loans.
Governor Seyi Makinde’s style of leadership especially in the education line clearly shows he believes that leadership is a potent combination of good strategy, political will, and strong character.
Within one year in office, the Educational sector has achieved unbelievable success that has again shot the state into limelight among committee of states in Nigeria.
Some of the bold and courageous steps taken by Makinde to boost sound education among Oyo indigent include among others Payment of N60 Million bursary to Oyo State indigent at the Nigeria Law School.
School fees reduction at Emmanuel Alayande College of Education Oyo, to level up the school fees with other institution in Oyo State.
10% school fees reduction at Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology, Igboora, to level up the school fees with other institution in Oyo State.
N300 Million for the Polytechnic of Ibadan to secure accreditation and capital projects.
N500 Million subvention to LAUTECH and the inauguration of negotiation committee to fast track sole ownership to Oyo state.
Abolishment of N3,000 School Levies and internal exam fees in Oyo State in order to remove financial burden from parents’ shoulders while encouraging more children back to school.
N526 Million grant to 2,500 Primary & 640 Secondary Schools in Oyo State as running costs in order to block all avenue to sabotage government efforts.
Free textbooks & Exercise books to pupils and students in order to ensure balance in access to learning materials.
Free Compendium to SS3 Students in Oyo state in both Public and Private schools
Free WAEC & JAMB extramural classes for SS3 Students in Oyo State.
Renovation of Schools and procurement of school desks for students for easy learning.
Donation of N8 Million by Oyo Ile investors Forum towards JAMB UTME Extramural classes.
Reduction of out of school children due to the free and quality education policy of Governor Seyi Makinde.
The digitization of UTME Past Questions And Answers (2010 – 2018) for easy access at no cost.
Provision of library, self assessment question and e-school free of charge.
Construction and rehabilitation of schools, as well as construction of solar borehole for easy access to clean and portable water in public schools.
Education they say is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire and it is through effective education that we can unlock the golden door of freedom.
Governor Makinde has displayed exceptional leadership skills in the administration of the state educational sector by ensuring discipline, dedication to service, merit based reward among others become the hallmark of its pacesetting status and it is evident in the increased public school enrollment most especially parents with wards in private schools which are presumed to provide better services have returned their children to government public schools in the state.
It is believed that if this momentum and tempo are sustained, Oyo state in the nearest coming years will begin to witness creative innovations from the coming generation that are now in school and the country will look to Oyo state for quality leadership.