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Comparative Analysis Between Fayose And Fayemi: The Education Sector In Ekiti State

 

The Oasis Reporters

June 18, 2018

The best legacy any man can give to his children is sound education and whatever step any government takes to ameliorate deteriorated standard of education should not be condemned by the products of qualitative education.

I’m more than certain that every right thinking citizen of Ekiti State was shocked to hear the erstwhile governor of the state and immediate former Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi disparaging the entire teachers of the state he plans to govern again just over the stellar grades of his successor, Chief Ayodele Fayose in the education sector.

No argument is needed on the fact that Ekiti is one of the states in Nigeria where education is valued. The state was once regarded a leading state with the highest number of professors in the country, but no one can credit the state again with this feat. I don’t think Ekiti could still boast of the achievement, though it’s still in the league of the best.

The reason the state is no more with the highest number of professors is beyond what someone who is not well- lettered can talk about. It can only be dealt with by the people with high intellectual prowess.

Fayose served as governor between 2003 – 2006. He was the second Executive Governor, the first PDP governor and the first to be forced out of the seat.

He was about to settle down as governor when his predecessor, Otunba Niyi Adebayo started questioning his Higher National Diploma certificate by instituting a court case against him. Despite the heat, media war and court cases before him, Fayose was able to use his native intelligence to organize a productive educational summit where all issues affecting the state education were identified and addressed.

Within a twinkle of an eye, the state moved from 35th to 17th and 19th positions respectively in West African Examinations Council, WAEC and National Education Council,NECO.

Due to his cordial relationship with the teachers in the state, Fayose was seen and addressed as a friend of teachers.

Fayose made the welfare of teachers which was nothing during Adebayo’s tenure a priority. Teachers were promoted regularly, some school principals were appointed as Permanent Secretaries. He did all these to encourage teachers so as to work harder and give out the best in them to impart knowledge to their students.

As at today, Dr Fayemi is the youngest person and the only PhD holder among the four indigenous sons who have governed the Fountain of Knowledge.

Due to the circumstances that surrounded his emergence, expectations of Ekiti people were so high. His numerous promises to the people during the struggle that made him governor were not fulfilled.

Fayemi was expected to use his vast knowledge in education to perform wonders in the sector, but rather than set an unbeatable record, he compounded the existing problems as he made a millennium gaffe by scrapping the two universities established by his predecessor, Asiwaju Segun Oni. This singular political action aimed at obliterating the landmark of his eternal enemy, Segun Oni reduced the number of workers and closed viable employment opportunities in Ekiti.

Fayemi refused to pay Teachers Scale Salary (TSS) and his Commissioner for Education, Dr. Eniola Ajayi worsened the matter as she introduced compulsory examinations for the teachers.

It’s on record that it was only during Fayemi’s tenure that some secondary school principals were demoted to class teachers. The incident that strained the relationship between him and the entire teachers. As the adage says: “where two elephants fight, the grass around suffers”. The problem that ensued between the teachers and the state government affected performance of students in both WAEC and NECO during his tenure.

The laptops provided for teachers were sold at inflated price. I can say it anywhere that most of the students who were given the laptops are still computer illiterates due to scarcity of computer teachers even as those ready to teach were not encouraged by the administration. How would a teacher who was demoted love to impart knowledge on students?

At the Local Government fronts over 75% of the principal officers (DA, Treasurers & Directors of Work) were retired on the excuse that they failed review examination. These officers went to court and the court ruled that they should be reinstated, Fayemi didn’t obey the ruling as he never obeyed any court judgement not in his favour. Hundreds of workers were redeployed from Local Government Councils to the primary schools to teach with NCE qualifications but retained on level 03/04. Those ones started teaching with anger. These and many other vital issues caused setbacks for education during Dr. Fayemi’s tenure and made him to receive outright rejection in the 2014 gubernatorial election.

As Ekiti State teachers stood solidly behind Fayose in 2003, so it was in 2014. He was re -elected years after he was forced out of office by the agents of darkness.

During his campaign, he promised to facilitate another educational summit that would make the state regain its lost position in education if re-elected and the beautiful step taken by this administration has justified his efforts in bringing back Ekiti to number 1 position in education. Kudos to the Deputy Governor, Prof. Kolapo Olusola Eleka who is in charge of that sector! The Deputy Governor supervised directly the ‘second school ‘ idea for special coaching of students in Maths, English and Sciences for WAEC and NECO exams whereby specialist teachers are made to teach outside their primary assignment posts.

Teachers’ Day that was never celebrated by Fayemi is being celebrated elaborately with presentation of brand new cars to the best students. Education summit was organised, monitoring and supervision team for teachers was introduced; various sensitisation meetings with the stakeholders in the Education sector and the intervention coaching for the SS3 students were introduced.

In addition to all that, international exposure was given to teachers and some stakeholders in education. Under this administration, the state has represented Nigeria in an international competition.

I can say that the steps taken by the present administration brought about the current feats of the state in education.

In 2016 WAEC, Ekiti took 11th and 1st position in NECO. The same record was set in 2017.

In summary, education under the so called “least educated” governor in Ekiti is undoubtedly the best. His native intelligence, political sagacity and ability to stay focused even under pressure stands him out amongst others. I think Fayemi will do better trying to demarket Fayose in some other areas of governance, this attempt at playing down Fayose’s achievements in the education sector does not hold water.

 

Written By Olufemi Alonge Alonso

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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