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Education policy review: Oyetola, Aregbesola disagree on policy consequences

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Shina Abubakar, Osogbo

Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola on Tuesday disagreed with his predecessor Rauf Aregbesola over the consequences of the latter’s education policies which was recommended for reversal.
While the Aregbesola disclosed that despite the introduction of the single uniform policy, the administration still won the 2014 governorship election with over 100,000 votes contrary to the outcome of the 2018 poll.
Oyetola opined that the votes earned by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2018 governorship election was not out of love but a protest against the failure of some government policies, especially the single uniform policy.
The duo disagreed when they featured on Rave FM programme, ‘Frank Talk’, monitored by our correspondent in Osogbo.
Kolapo Alimi, who served under Aregbesola as the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs for eight years said government education policies, especially single uniform, was to ensure the people’s  was adequately protected.
He said Aregbesola’s policy on uniform was not the reason the APC struggled to win the 2018 poll but the agitation for zoning to Osun West Senatorial districts.
Alimi, however, said the review of the education policy does not create any animosity between the present governor and his predecessor, saying every government policy can be subject to review if it does no longer enjoy people’s acceptability.
“We introduced those uniforms in 2012 and had an election in 2014, the parent of the poor students they were the one who voted for Aregbesola and we led by over a hundred thousand votes. But most of the people castigating this single uniform policy are the ones that will not send their children to those schools.”
“Policies of the  government are meant to achieve certain things at least the welfare of the people. Even while Aregbesola was there, we review the policy on uniform. By the time the single uniform was introduced, initially, we introduced the use of Adire as the collar for the children at the elementary schools but after three years we discover that it was fading out, then during the last Excos meeting we had in the first tenure, we changed it to Khaki.
“We introduced the single uniform because when we assumed office, we realised that most of our pupils in schools are wearing tattered school uniform. We had to change, that was our policy. There’s nothing wrong when you test policy and discover that there is an anomaly in it you can look into it.
“But before you take action on it, you have to look at the reason for introducing the policy. The main reason for the single uniform policy during our tenure is that the majority of our students are wearing tattered uniform and we corrected that by the introduction of a single uniform which is cheap and can be easily provided freely by the government.
But the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Oyetola, Ismail Omipidan said the administration did not take into consideration the unintended consequences of its education policies.
He said there is no policy that is cast in stone and at any point in time if the people desire to change on any policy, the government of the day should look at it, adding that despite single uniform policy, pupils/students still wore tattered uniforms to school.
Omipidan maintained that the review of the policy was necessitated by the request of the people during the electioneering campaign and after the governorship election when the governor embarked on ‘thank you tour’ across the state.
“In any policy, there is what we called unintended consequences, as at the time when those decisions were taken, probably the state doesn’t take to cognizance the issue we now face in schools on security and indiscipline by the reason of the single uniform policy. Even with the single uniform, are pupils not still putting on tattered uniforms?
“We receive security reports on daily bases on problems that a single uniform is causing.”
“One of what was stated was the issue of a single uniform policy. So we arrive where we are today based on the demand of the people and every responsible government must ensure that its programs and policies answer to the demands of its people.”
“Can we juxtapose what happened in the 2014 election with the happenings in the 2018 governorship election? If we say that the policy of a single uniform was so popular, it probably helped to win the election in 2014 with that margin. I want to add that as at the 2014 election, the issue of change of single uniform policy did not dominate the election issues the way it dominated it in 2018”, he added.
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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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