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Vintage Bayo Adelabu: Routing for the Supreme Good Via Incremental Change in Oyo State Governance System (2) – By Isiaka Kehinde

Interesting enough, after the interview of Oloye Adelabu Adebayo on Fresh FM on Saturday, there have been a chain of reaction from the public, some sincere and trenchant, others specious and politically – motivated.

Vitally, Oloye Adelabu’s comments on funding tertiary education specifically, and his general policy plan on education transformation has continued to elicit spontaneous reactions from the public. This is not unexpected. As Willard Richan once said, “we live in a political environment in which reactions to policy innovations often range from apathy to outright hostility”.

Clearly, Oloye Adelabu Adebayo did not mince words in setting priorities for the transformation of education system in the state. Without a whiff of doubt, he is looking forward to providing a system that will not place premium on the book itself but which will give values to the book. He identified the triad of physical infrastructural development of the schools environment, provision of modern teaching aid and focus on the improved welfare of the teaching personnel as prerequisites for attaining qualitative education in the state.

He affirmed that plans are already in top gear to actualise the noble goal of quality education in Oyo state. Citing Lagelu Grammar School as a model, he emphasised that the fortune of the school, within just last one year of his helmsmanship of the school’s governing board, has largely improved and the academic performance of the students markedly impressive. That feat he assured will be repeated in other schools in due course.

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Whilst agreeing that education in primary and post primary schools be made free, he insisted that tertiary institutions should be self-funding, autonomous and creative. ‘All over the world, tertiary education is not free’. This seems to be an unsettling truth that some people designed not to settle for.

Oloye Adelabu Adebayo highlighted areas of fast tracking sustainability of funding of tertiary education and urged the administrators of the schools to think outside the box of over reliance on government intervention to developing holistic feasibility plan that will address proper funding structure without ado through third sector partnership, students loans scheme, grants, endowments, charities from the affluent members of the society among others.

Nothing happens, as they say, unless something is moved. From all indications, not that Oloye Adelabu Adebayo is taking the less travelled route for calling on the institutions to multiply their own strength merely to sooth his own ecstasy, he is obviously aiming at a lasting solution, that may appear painful though at the beginning, but soothing in the end.

The discussion on the need to rethink higher education funding is not limited to Nigeria alone. Even in advanced democracies, funding of education is tied to tuition prices. The debate over the escalating tuition fees and the tax payers loans which often serve as issues of grave concern by disadvantaged students overseas has been one of the widely debated contentious issues around the globe. A dicothomy between a not too financially stable students and their better off peers. The former after graduation faces another hurdle of loans repayment.

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There is no equal opportunity for education. But to maintain a balance, institutions in advanced countries offer a boost to Education through providing access to students to get maintainance loans to defray their school fees and living cost. Even in Freetown, nothing is free. All reasoning concerning matter of fact is founded on the relation of cause and effect. More often to reach the desired effect it may cause the agent some sacrifice. This is a hard fact that Oloye Adelabu Adebayo was stressing in the interview that some people failed to grapple with.

He remarked that it’s unthinkable that students fees be increased astronomically and they are still compelled to commence payment immediately. He therefore suggested a palliative process of spreading such increase to cover some periods of time to cushion it’s harsh effect on both the students and their parents.

Hatchback to the past history, it is easier to link Adelabu Adebayo’s excellence of character and consuming passion for quality education to his late grand father, Hon Adegoke Adelabu Penkelemesi whose ideas for education for all was propelled by his uncanny political will necessary for social change. The late Penkelemesi implied words to that effect when he said that “every item of luxury in our domestic and national budget whilst there are uneducated people about in any remote or outlandish portion of this country, is a sin against the law of God”.

It also bears emphasis that Adelabu Adebayo in the said interview stated that he is a comfortable man who through dint of hardwork and God’s grace has recorded huge success in his private ventures in the areas covering but not limited to, Hospitality, Agriculture and Estate. The visceral question on the lips of some people is – ‘what do you want in government, if you are as accomplished a man as you claimed’. It needs be pointed out that politics as Tacitus says, “is the most flagrant of all passion”. To think that government is an avenue to enrich those in power is an egregious falsity in common perspective on democracy. For a fact, some people are in politics to fulfill a dream in pursuance of good life for all. Such a person desires the opportunity for public service so that his or her virtue should not grow old and weak through lack of use. This is the supreme good, that once attained, a man desires nothing else. The irrepressible passion that drives Oloye Adelabu Adebayo to politics.

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With Bayo, Next level is guaranteed in Oyo state.

Watch out for part 3 that will cover Adelabu Adebayo’s position and viewpoint on Environment, Health and Housing