By Olufemilade Oyinade
The Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, on Thursday, splashed a two-bedroom bungalow and a sum of N2m on Oladimeji Sotunde, an indigene of the state who emerged as the Overall Best Graduating Student of the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos.
Abiodun equally announced that his administration would set an Education Endowment Fund with a seed money of N5m, in honour of Faith Odunsi, a student of the Ambassadors College, Ota, who emerged winner in the Global Open Mathematics Tournament.
The governor made these known at the presentation of awards and certificates to outstanding teachers and learners in various competitions, held at the Obas’ Complex, Oke Mosan, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
The event tagged ‘Celebration of Ogun Laureates 2021’, was organised by the state government to honour students and teachers, who won laurels in different educational completions such as mathematics quiz, JETS, Teacher of the Year, NYSC Presidential Award and so on.
According to the governor, the awardees had further put Ogun on the global pedestal, hence, the need to fete them.
While noting that education remains one of the biggest industries in Ogun and one of the proudest legacies bequeathed by the founding fathers of the state, Abiodun added that “the achievements recorded by these students and teachers are on their own, entry tests for greater achievements”.
He attributed feats recorded by the awardees in the education competitions to his administration’s methodical and calculated interventions aimed at rescuing the education sector from the dwindling fortunes inflicted on it by the indifference of the past.
He pointed out that to revamp the education sector in Ogun, his administration focused on infrastructural development, human capital development, provision of conducive environment, among many others to redeem the sector and restore its lost glory.
“We are celebrating awards in Projects, Quiz in Mathematics, Basic Science, Basic Technology, Agricultural Science, Physics and Biology.
“We are Best State and we have overall best students for both male and female students in JETS. We are the Champion! The icing on the cake is that of Miss Odunsi Faith, the global winner of Open Mathematics Tournament (GOMT). The story of the deluge of awards we are witnessing today cannot be completed without the teachers and school administrators who are also champions in their own rights. It is not a flash in the pan to have Award of Excellence in leadership and productivity won by five schools in the State; 2020 African Writer’s Award; and, 2020 President’s Teachers and Schools Excellence Award. I am proud of you all.
“Looking at these young men and women of Ogun State, I find in them not just a reward for our commitment, but indeed, an encouragement to do more. We have continued to dedicate and demonstrate our commitment to the successful implementation of the “Building our Future Together” Agenda. These great ambassadors of our dear State have given us assurances of a greater future. By these achievements, they are telling us that the future we are building would be handed over to dedicated hands and intelligent minds”. The governor stated.
He assured that the state under his watch would continue to put measures in place towards providing quality education necessary for the development of the state. just as he charged our dear teachers that, as important stakeholders, you should continue to discharge your professional duties creditably beyond the new demands of COVID-19.
Abiodun, however, commended the teachers in the state for their commitment and professionalism, saying “without doubt, the successes we are witnessing might not have been possible without their special contributions”.
He charged teachers as important stakeholders, to continue to discharge their professional duties creditably beyond the new demands of COVID-19.
“To encourage deep thinking and creative genius inherent in the people of Ogun State, our government shall continue to nurture and encourage any indigene of the state with demonstrated ability to perform, achieve, and/or excel in scholastic activities and no stone will be left unturned to identify high achieving and exceptionally creative young persons with superior acumen, craft and performance.
“We will give them recognition because that is the only way to speed up and maximise development of their intellectual capacities and skills in order to deploy such in service to of our common humanity”, Abiodun stated further.
In his remark, the former Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Peter Okebukola, noted that Ogun has been at the forefront of education advancement in the country and charged the laureates to do more to make Ogun proud.
He commended the Dapo Abiodun-led administration for organising the event to celebrate the Ogun state finest, noting such celebration would serve as motivation to other students and teachers.
In their respective goodwill messages through virtual, the Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, the Director, National Mathematical Centre, Abuja, Professor Adewale Solarin, the Registrar, Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) Professor Isiaq Oloyede and the former Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Professor Olufemi Bamiro, lauded the state government for giving education a top priority, which has culminated in achievements recorded by the students and teachers.