Students, Parents Resist Osun Govt Schools Merger

Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola
Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola

Crisis, Wednesday erupted in Osun State Over merger of public schools in the state.

The state government apparently had it all planned out when the same uniform was introduced for all government-owned school in the state. If there was no resistance of any kind, the merger would have gone on smoothly.

However, at the Baptist Girls High School, Gbodofon, Osogbo, security personnel at the institution, which was founded in 1956 and still run partly by the Baptist Church and the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) of the school, resisted the merger of Fakunle Comprehensive High School, which was a mixed school with a girls only school.

The owners and parents of Baptist Girls High School, whose children and wards were both boarding and day students rushed to the school gate to lock out Fakunle students, who were mostly boys.

Reacting to the incident, the authorities of Baptist Girls High School contended that it would be wrong for government to bring boys to a girls college. Some parents who spoke in anonymity also described as unreasonable, the government’s action.

It has been alleged a while ago, that Governor Rauf Aregbesola had plans of building a shopping mall on the expanse of land where Fakunle Comprehensive High School is located, an allegation his associates denied. The recent development seems to lay credence to a belief the opposition has always held about his plans for the school.

The state Deputy Governor, Mrs Grace Titilayo Laoye-Tomori, who also doubles as the commissioner for education, yesterday rushed to the school to douse the tension as Fakunle students were scattered around the premises of the Baptist Girls High School, waiting to be allowed entry.

Laoye-Tomori addressed the owners, parents, teachers and students of the school, urging them to be patient with the government as government was already looking into the situation.

A similar situation happened at Baptist High School, Ede, where Muslim students, some wearing hijab were merged with those of the mission school which also provoked the confusion.

Concerned alumni members of Fakunle High School, Osogbo, had since in a leaflet distributed in Osogbo, the state capital, charged the state Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, not to demolish the school for whatever purpose, as it was going to inflict pains on the students. Others say it will be foolish for anyone to demolish a school like Fakunle which has produced some of the finest brains to come out of Osun State, advising the governor to listen to wise counsel.

They accused the state government of allegedly planning to demolish the school, which they argued, was antithetical to the spirit of Rev. Ade Fakunle, who founded the school in 1965.

“If he wants to build a shopping mall of the standard he’s claiming, it won’t matter where he builds it, the shopping mall will blossom and develop such area, as it would be the first of its kind in Osun State. It will totally disheartening to see a politician, in the name of development, demolish schools. That shows how much our leaders value education,” a concerned citizen said.

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