The newly introduced Oyo Mesi Education Programme in Oyo State is expected to reignite the passion of the state’s students for education, standardise education processes and raise the competencies of teachers.
Disclosing this was the Special Adviser to Governor Abiola Ajimobi on Education, Dr Bisi Akin-Alabi, who added that the programme is also aimed character education as well as infuse localised content in its education system.
According to her, the programme is meant to serve as a template for the functioning of the recently launched School Governing Boards (SGBs) in the state, and will see a focus on literacy, numeracy and digital literacy in teaching and learning.
Speaking about the ongoing state-organised West African Examination Council boot camp where some of the most competent teachers are being empowered to ensure that students are well prepared for public examinations, Akin-Alabi said the overall goal of the ‘Oyo Mesi’ programme is the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goal 4 of inclusive, equitable, quality education and lifelong learning in the state by 2020.
She said, “The Oyo Mesi programme aims at character education, which is the need to fix moral decay in the society and to refocus our children’s energy to reignite their passion for education. We intend to raise competent civil citizens in Oyo State, to make the state a hub for producing knowledgeable workforce for the teeming industries in Nigeria.
“Then, we will infuse content in our education system that will make the education we are providing fit for our own purposes. We will standardise everything across board, from assurance framework, the processes in education, to content for our curriculum. We will ensure that students are learning the same thing across board whether private or public schools. We will bridge the gap between provisions in public and private schools.
“The Oyo Mesi principles will be given to the SGBs; and this is what they will use to manage each school. The operational guidelines we have given the SGBs are in tandem with the Oyo Mesi programme.
“Basically, we have put together the SGBs; then, we will now raise capacity of the SGB members in line with the Oyo Mesi programme. We will intimate them with the sort of things we want to see in the classroom; the sort of standards with our teachers; the standards of infrastructure.
“It is the Oyo State model of education. The people we picked for SGB are people that have integrity; people who have a love for learning and young people. The schools do not belong to them; they still belong to the government. Government still pays the teachers, does the capital projects; but, they can also do some capital projects if they are able to raise funds.
“What we want to do is reposition education in the state. It is a repositioning strategy and also a strategy that offers quick-wins. We are looking at low-hanging fruits that we can harvest and add real value to the education of our children,” she explained.