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• Commission N300m projects at 50th anniversary
From LAYI OLANREWAJU, Ilorin
The power of unity in a group as more potent than an individual’s was rekindled at Omu Aran in Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State penultimate week as the Government Secondary School Old Boys Association (OGSSOBA) celebrated the 50th anniversary of the school.
The one week event commenced on November 8 with the arrival of the Old Boys, while Thursday November 9 was for excursion and a football match. The following day, Friday November 10, was reunion assembly; graduation/prize giving day; a public lecture, annual general meeting and 2017 annual dinner.
The peak of the celebration was on Saturday November 11 slated for commissioning of projects by the Old Boys, presentation of awards and launch of Old Boys anniversary magazine.
Speaking at the anniversary graduation and prize giving ceremony, the Chancellor, Landmark University, Omu-Aran, Bishop David Oyedepo, also an old boy of the school, advocated a review of the nation’s education system for Nigeria to achieve the desired transformation in the sector.
Oyedepo stressed the importance of quality education in the life of any society.
The cleric said only a standard and formidable education system could help to hasten Nigeria’s much desired socio-economic recovery, growth and development.
He expressed the need for the leaders to facilitate formidable platform through the education sector, to enable youths acquire improved education to prepare them for leadership.
“Wherever goes quality education, there goes civilization and socio-economic development.
“Egypt once led in education and at the same time led in civilization. The people from Europe went to Egypt to learn architecture, geometry and archaeology. There is no substitute to quality education in the recovery process of any nation like ours,” he said.
Mr. Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) in a lecture advocated increased and sustainable funding of the nation’s education institutions and the education system.
Fagbemi spoke on “Functional Education: An Imperative for Rapid Socio-Economic Development in Nigeria. He said even if we are not capable of maintaining the recommended United Nation’s benchmark of 26 per cent, we certainly must improve on our present financial arrangement,” he said.
While the Vice Chancellor, Landmark University, Prof. Adeniyi Olayanju, in a remark, praised members of the school’s Old Boys’ Association for their contributions towards the infrastructure development of the school.
The Old Boys also used the occasion to award certificates and prizes to students of the school that excelled in their studies.
At the commissioning, awards and launch of the anniversary magazine, as early as 9:00 in the morning the members started arriving, glad in their old school uniform of white long sleeve shirt and brown khaki trousers and a red tie to compliment.
The cynosure was the Chancellor, Landmark University and Bishop of Living Faith Church, Dr. Oyedepo who stepped out of his sleek car in his school uniform. His presence charged the event with frenzy.
While addressing the gathering, national president of the Old Boys, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi, said “members of the association, including Oyedepo, have spent about N300 million to rehabilitate their Alma Mata.
Adeniyi listed the projects the association executed for the school to include construction of about one kilometre road that leads to the main entrance of the school and building of a 1,000-seater capacity auditorium.
He said that other projects include an administrative block, library, laboratory, classrooms, computer and internet facilities, modern toilet facilities, and a Toyota Hiace bus procured for the school.
Adeniyi explained that over the years, the Old Boys had awarded scholarship to students for exemplary performance and presented annual prizes and hosted the Thanksgiving Day.
He lauded the support of Oyedepo, a member of 1972 Class, for the projects of the Old Boys.
He urged the state government to come to the aide of the school in erecting perimeter fencing, building of school dormitories and staff quarters and in the other areas of need.
In his address, the state governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed who was represented by his Special Assistant on Agriculture, Anu Ibiwoye commended contributions of the Old Boys to the school and urged them to sustain the feat.
The governor disclosed that as part of efforts to see that children in the state acquired education that prepares them for the future, his administration has concluded arrangement to rehabilitate an initial 30 secondary schools to bring them to good standard in facilities and quality of teaching.
Oyedepo, while delivering a lecture, said there was no substitute to quality education in the recovery process of any nation, including Nigeria.
He was reported to have spent about N40m for projects in the school, pays salaries of over 20 staff of the school since 2011 and several students enjoy scholarships from the bishop. He predicted that Nigeria would witness accelerated development with quality education and national unity.