Governor Oyetola and Osun State University of Exploitation
I know how the victimised students of Osun State University are feeling and my sympathy goes to them. In 2014, I was among the protesters who stormed the state secretariat and held Otunba Titi Olaoye Tomori who was then deputy governor of the state for three hours inside the scorching sun as a result of prolonged strike actions in state institutions. We (protesters) also demanded for free education but only strike actions were called off.
Six years later, the argument or agitation from the students community has shifted from “education must be free to education must be affordable”. These students just want to breathe. They want to survive death traps we call anti-students policies, strange and consuming bills. These students have watched the same people who vowed to bring education to their doorsteps becoming morally low and incapacitated to stop or effect positive and necessary change in the system.
Running a school setting is not a child’s play. It is not an easy task to run a college, varsity or polytechnic and to run institutions in Osun state, it will take extra efforts and crazy exploiting policies. All state institutions are in total neglect and absolute ruins. There is a health college without chairs, water and toilet, a technology college like cemetery and a polytechnic in bad shape. TETFUND is the only reason why the outlook of Ilesa college of education is better but its counterpart in Ila-Oragun is quietly diminishing. Anti-students policies, dictatorial powers of the heads, opaque finances and the less supervision from the government’s angle to make every policy stands are tools in driving institutions within the state. In as much as these schools would not ask for subventions, the government does not care if students pay for the air they breathe.
How do you want institutions that do not receive subventions to survive? Exploitation and the students are the direct victims. Students are to pay the sum of N80000 to have access to hostels and there will be six students per room despite the COVID-19 protocols. There’s also a condition attached to it; no student must cook in the hostel. They’ve also increased ICT and students handbook fees because they want to update the informations in the handbook.
I have clearly stated severally that there’s no institution in Osun that can withstand standard practice or measure in infrastructure, staff strength and equipment. These institutions are surviving independently and the governor can not clearly issue directives for authorities he does not cater for. UNIOSUN is not just an academic institution but also a revenue generation one who places priority on funds because academic excellence can only be achieved through funds. The vice-chancellor is the alpha and omega of the school.
Adegboyega Oyetola should be held responsible for any hardship the students of the institution pass through. The state government of Osun made the VC a tyrant and demi-god. They expanded his gut, made him powerful and that is why the VC has been so unapologetic in his pursuit to make living difficult for schools. When Osun exchanged her birthright for billions during LAUTECH negotiation, we all thought it would be a new dawn for UNIOSUN but sadly, the state institution has continued to wallow in regrets.
Our hopes were high but Oyetola did not allow them to climb the ladder of reality. We were expecting reduction in tuition fees, construction of new lecture rooms and other positive growths rather the songs of sorrow and hardships have taken over the institution. The management of UNIOSUN who are conversant with the economic implications of COVID-19 on the people announced that students should pay the sum of #80,000 as hostel fees among other crazy fees. Both the management of the school and the entire government of the state are enemies of education. The head of the state, Oyetola no doubt lacks compassion and sympathy for the students in return to their parents who elected him as governor.
The story of UNIOSUN is similar to the tales of every institution in the state. Poor infrastructure, inadequate lecture rooms, substandard equipments, low teachers and some schools are far worse than Nigerian prisons. These schools have been neglected and they are currently in ruins. It is very unfortunate that the administration of Oyetola for almost three years has done nothing to change the tales of neglect.
The state ministry of education is a wrecking and lost ship. The continued neglect of these state institutions is a shame on those who campaigned using education as a template. As much as I want to condemn strange developments and the management of Osun State University, Governor Oyetola should wake up to responsibilities, make provision of funds for these schools, contribute to their growth so that they would remove their knees and allow students to breathe.
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