THE chairman, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Dr Olatokunbo Awolowo Dosunmu, on Saturday, described rural education as one of the basic ingredients for rural development as pioneered by the sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, in his days as the Premier of the Western Region.
She stated this at the 34th Founder’s Day and the official re-naming of Odonoko/Odoroga Comprehensive High School in Ijebu North-East Local Government Area of the state, to Obafemi Awolowo Comprehensive High School.
Dr Awolowo Dosunmu said that Chief Awolowo believed in social justice, equality of men and women and the very idea that rural dwellers must enjoy same and equal rights as urban dwellers.
Delivering a lecture on “The Rural Education Legacy of Chief Obafemi Awolowo in the Rebuilding Mission Agenda of Senator Ibikunle Amosun in the Ogun State Education Sector”, the Executive Director of Obafemi Awolowo Foundation, noted that education was dear to the sage’s heart.
She said: “Rural integration and development had remained one of the cardinal programmes that Papa held dear to his heart. Crucial to rural development was, and is, education. Both as Premier and later as leader of opposition, Papa placed utmost premium on four governance issues; education, health, economic development and democratization of local governments.
“The policies and programmes of Awo, which are listed above became so successful that practically everyone of us here today is a beneficiary of those innovations. Since the purpose of our gathering here today in Odonoko/Odoroga is to re-launch and rename a school that bears the imprint of Papa, it is important that we emphasise the significance of rural education.
“Papa’s administration in the Western Region believed in social justice, equality of men and women and in the very idea that rural dwellers must enjoy the same and equal rights as urban dwellers. So, the practical result of that philosophy was the establishment of farm settlements, primary schools, and the eventual declaration o free education throughout the region.
“It should also be pointed out that an integrated rural development strategy embarked upon by Papa and his team was a multi-faceted one: rural development involved rural education, rural communication, and rural health provision.”
She commended the state government for its concerted effort in the education sector, saying that the bridge between Awolowo’s legacy and Amosun’s government would be sustained.
Dr Awolowo Dosumu also commended the Odonoko/Odoroga community for revitalising the school and specially thanked Professor Japheth Adeneye for sacrificing his money and time towards the development of the school, whose foundation was laid by the sage on the 22nd of March, 1980.
“I commend the government of Ogun State for supporting this community. I urge the government to do more, however. The fact that this same school built so many decades ago is being resuscitated and sustained suggests to us that every person and agency that has contributed to today’s reality, including the government of Ogun State of course, believes in legacies. I would therefore, urge you all to continue to preserve the best policies and programmes that constitute our worthy heritage,” she added.
In his remarks, Professor Adeneye, described Dr. Awolowo Dosunmu, as a lover of education, especially at rural community, adding that the free education policy of the sage afforded him the ability to attend a secondary school.
Highlights of the ceremony were the investiture of Dr. Awolowo Dosumu as the Grand Matron of the school and an award given to Professor Adeneye.
Source: Nigerian Tribune