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OYOMESI: One Year Of A Robust And An All Inclusive Policy For Real Educational Advancement

The position of education in the old Western region is nothing but the best among the equal. This singular bar-raised standard in education was a pointer to the “Pace Setter” status the state is identify with up until date. However, the state has eluded itself the rightful position as far as education is concern because of inability to sustain the education legacy of the old era.

In order to restore this lost glory necessitated the tripod agenda of transformation, restoration and repositioning of the present administration in Oyo State, under the leadership of Senator Abiola Ajimobi, to ensuring that the rightful number one position of the state is reclaimed.

Education as an integral part of cardinal principles of the three points’ agenda of the government brought about various policies to overhaul education system in the state. One of the overhauling policies is the Oyo State Model Education System Interventions (OYOMESI), an initiative developed by Dr. Bisi Akin-Alabi, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, with a mission to promote students’ achievement and prepare them for global competitiveness by fostering education excellence and ensuring equal access for all.

The OYOMESI educational policy formulated to objectively prepare the state for a knowledge-based future, improve the quality of basic education and promote independent and lifelong learning. The policy also designed to contribute to the development of a workforce by equipping with necessary skills needed in a competitive economy and to assist education practitioners to have access to the appropriate Quality Assurance Framework that support delivery of outstanding academic outcomes with effective compliance, monitoring and enforcement drive to sustain its implementation.

OYOMESI, a seed of a-three strands educational policy of Character Education, Localized Education Content and Improving Teachers’ Competences and Motivation that sowed a year ago has germinated through various interventions.

Parts of the interventions were the introduction of WAEC Boot Camp, where WAEC series textbooks numbering 4,326 distributed in all secondary schools to subject teachers. The development played a significant role in leapfrogged the state’s WAEC Attainment Levels in 2017 from 21 percent to 54 percent, the best result in the last 18 years. Many factors contributing to the rate of social vices among students such as truancy and mindset of teachers have received attention through the strand one of Character Education initiative.

The OYOMESI, in partnership with Microsoft and Signal Alliance launched a Digital Literacy Drive to enrich the curriculum with local content that would enable delivery of a fit for purpose education offering through the implementation of Microsoft Imagine Academy with 20 schools as pilot scheme. In quest to awake the interest of students in engineering and technology disciplines, the Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) strategy developed by OYOMESI, with weekly robotic workshop in all secondary schools.

The policy allowed several capacity-building events organized across eight education zones in the state, where about 2000 teachers trained to address lack of adequate expertise and improving teachers’ competences and motivation, through the Teachers Continuing Professional Development Programme.

The series of achievements recorded by the state government in education through the implementation of OYOMESI agenda accorded the Ibadan a Learning City status by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

In taking advantage of Ibadan as UNESCO Learning City to make other regions in the state become learning neighborhoods, as well as to commemorate one year anniversary of the implementation of the OYOMESI, the education policy that had attracted the attention of education lovers from different parts of the world into the state, hence, the organization of Festival of Learning in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

The OYOMESI Festival of Learning gave a wider audience of teachers, educators and businesses to collaborate and network to learn new approaches to classroom practices, and as well give opportunity to engage other relevant stakeholders in educational development. It was also an avenue for government to raise its revenue base through a credible collaboration sought, funding sourced and prime quality time event.

The first highlight of the Festival was 1st Hackathon organized in collaboration with WestAfricaENRG and Technical University, Ibadan, the host institution, to proffer IT solutions to variety of environmental management challenges on waste collection billing and payment system, reporting illegal Dumpsites, city enumeration and management and recycling measurement and reporting. The occasion witnessed the presentation of a sum of #2 million naira investment seed money to the best three ideas and opportunity to take part in one-week skill transfer and hands-on learning in the United Kingdom by four best participants.

The OYOMESI Festival of Learning, which was the second to happened in the history of whole Africa after Kenya, but first among ECOWAS countries, continues at the Emeritus Professor Theophilus Oladipo Ogunlesi Multipurpose Hall, University College Hospital, Ibadan, occasioned by the organization of about 50 workshops for free for interested participants all through a week long programme. The workshops include Children’s Conference, Digital Literacy Workshop, STEM Education Workshop, Paper Craft, Games Hangout, Capacity Building on Safety, Train the Trainers, OYOMESI Film Academy Workshop, education and exhibition shows undertaken by various resource persons from various sectors across the globe, including Afolabi Andu, Laila Jean, Prof. Kingston Nyamapfene and Prof. Doug Buttrey.

the epoch making event also witnessed the creation of awareness on Oyo State as an Investment Hub for Education, introduction of the OYOMESI Smart Pad, and Recognition and Decoration of outstanding individuals and students, who have shown positive character virtues of integrity, hard work, diligence, decency, punctuality and environmental friendliness as positive Role Models. The significant of the recognition and decoration was to shape pupils’ outlook to life promote improved concentration and focus. It is also to encourage community groups and education stakeholders, local government areas and local council development areas to join hands together in celebrating learning by displaying value addition achieve in their respective localities.

The OYOMESI educational policy encompasses all necessary critical thinking skills required for students to compete at the global level. It encourages and improving learning awareness opportunities by presenting huge platform for all to collaborate and be part of life changing initiative, the move that has took the state to lead the educational revolution not only in Oyo State but in Nigeria at large.

Packaged by Kunle Gazali

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