The Oyo State government on Tuesday launched the Oyo State Education Trust Fund, with eminent personalities and corporate organisations including traditional rulers, captains of industries, philanthropists and political class, donating handsomely to the Fund.
The state government also awarded full scholarship and free admission to Technical University, Ibadan to the two best students of the state who came first and second in West Africa Secondary School Examination (WASSCE).
Governor Abiola Ajimobi announced the scholarships to the two students, Miss Irabor Isabelle Gelegu and Master Adekunle Oluwatoni Adedigba of Oritamefa Baptist Model School, who scored A1 parallel in all subjects to be the best students in Nigeria in the 2017 WASSCE at the official launch of the state ETF, held in Ibadan.
Governor Ajimobi stated that the State’s ETF would go a long way in restoring the education legacy of late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, saying that the importance of education to the growth of the State and Nigeria alike cannot be overemphasized as it was replacing natural resources that used to portend wealth for nations.
He enjoined all citizens to contribute to the uplift of the sector so as to be able to restore the pride of the State as the intellectual capital of the nation, stressing, “the wealth of the future does not lie in some natural resources buried underground, but in the mind of young learners, and it is our duty to unlock and unleash these potentials.
“The leading countries today are leading not because of their natural resources but because they have the best of brains. They have the mind and the right attitude. Since the resources that we have do not match the resources that we need, we must take more steps to get to where we desire. We must think out of the box. Oyo ETF is therefore a crucial step in restoring the legacy of the great Chief Obafemi Awolowo who laid example to follow.”
Ajimobi appreciated the efforts of the State House of Assembly and the board of Oyo State Education Trust Fund, led by Chief (Dr) Mrs Onikepo Akande for making the dream of floating a fund that would change the face of education in the State.
He hailed the contribution of stakeholders towards the policy change and the consequence which led to the State having the best performance of students in 2017 West African School Certificate Examination (WASCE) in the last eighteen years, adding “the resultant effect of our policy change is the brilliant and upward performance of our students which has led Oyo State having the best result since 18years ago.”
In his remarks, Oba Rilwan Akinolu of Lagos said that all hands must be on deck to restore the glory of education in the country, noting the ETF would bring back the fortune of education in Oyo State.
Oba Akinolu said, “I am very happy to be here. I was given good education here in Ibadan at Sabo Memorial School. I visited the school on Monday and the state I met the school is not encouraging. So, with this gesture by the state government, education will be restored in the state. I will contribute to this noble objective and will continue to support the ETF.”
Oba Akinolu saluted the radical policies embraced by the Ajimobi’s government, saying it was tantamount to the efforts of successive governments in Lagos State that were pioneered by Senator Bola Tinubu.
The Chairman of ETF, (Dr) Mrs Onikepo Akande in her speech assured that the outcome of the Trust Fund would usher in a new dawn for education in the State, lamenting the poor state of educational facilities and personnel in the State.
She said “Education is very critical to the progress of any nation. In the past, education was taken with a high degree of seriousness to the extent that some facilities had to sacrifice one thing or the other to educate their children. “It is however a sad development to note that the state of education in this same part of the country has become so poor that we cannot be seen to be setting any pace in education as it used to be in the past.
“It is in view of the need to resuscitate the lost glory and the improvement of the quality of education in the State that Governor Ajimobi initiated the idea of the fund and we promise to be prudent with the funds,” she added.