The Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (OSOPADEC) has flagged-off the distribution of Educational Support materials to students in public primary and secondary schools across the mandate areas.
Among the educational materials distributed were: 2AExercise Books – 40,571pieces; 2B Exercise Books – 15,714 pieces; 2D Drawing Books – 16,714 pieces; 40 Leaves – 45,357pieces; 60 Leaves -58,500pieces;Higher Education– 1,071 pieces; Mathematical set-12,750 pieces.
The Chairman of OSOPADEC, Hon. (Barr) Gbenga Edema in his speech stated that knowledge is power, he added that without knowledge people would be wallowing in darkness while promising that the programme would not be the last one he will do as it is the dream of the present administration to see how much support that can be given to the educational system.
In his speech, he highlighted the success of his administration in the area of scholarship and bursary, adding that in 2017 there were over 5,000 beneficiaries. In 2018, students also benefited but it is baffling that courses like Nursing only made a small portion of the list and that informed the decision of his administration to start giving a scholarship of One Hundred Thousand Naira to students studying courses like Medicine, Nursing, Law, Engineering at undergraduate level. One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira to students at post graduate level and Two Hundred Thousand Naira to PHD students in 2017/2018 academic year.
Edema said that the 2018/2019 scholarship/bursary scheme will soon begin. It was delayed because of the corona virus pandemic. He finally congratulated the students benefiting from this gesture and told them that it is a call to duty.
While flagging-off the programme, the Ondo State Governor Arakunrin Rotimi Odunayo Akereledolu who was represented by the Special Adviser to Mr. Governor on Education Dr. Wunmi Egbayelo Ilawole said in her speech that once you educate a child you educate a nation. With literacy you are sure of development because a literate mind is a broad mind that will be able to assimilate and be able to give out what has been given in terms of social development in the society. As a government, the importance of education is well understood and will do all that is within the means of the government to improve the educational standard of the system.
According to Dr. Wunmi Egbayelo Ilawole, SUBEB had renovated over 700 schools in the State and over 100 in the Ilaje Local Government. She said that the Government is expecting OSOPADEC as an interventionist agency to do the shortfall of whatever project the state government is unable to do. In this regards she said that the needed support to ensure that all the abandoned school that are OSOPADEC project will be completed. The government will also ensure that OSOPADEC continues to employ teachers to assists in the various schools that mighty have some shortfalls. She appealed to teachers in the employ of the state government in Ilaje and Ese-Odo Local Government LGAs to report at their duty posts so that the students could be able to compete favourably with students and pupils of other local government areas. She also appreciated the teachers because many students had gone out for various competitions had been winning and getting awards and she also appreciated the principal for doing well in managing the schools with the little resources that they are getting.
Speaking, she also told parents that they had a role to play by buying books that their children needed at School adding that by so doing the children would be able to support them in their old age.
The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT Chairman) Ilaje LG Chapter, Comrade Omoyele said they have been expecting the distribution of books for long and he appreciated the Chairman for this gesture and requested that other things that they had requested for should be granted.
Also speaking is the state president of ANCORDS Comrade Mebawondu J.A; he appreciated the Chairman of OSOPADEC for this kind of gathering. He said that this is not the first thing OSOPADEC will do. Many schools had been renovated and the services of teachers and corp member where engaged in various schools.
However, he said that most schools that were renovated are now in a dilapidated state and requested that OSOPADEC should put the schools in order and build more schools in the mandate area. He also pleaded that the chairman should employ more teachers to ease the work load of the existing teachers.