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Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Soyinka expresses dismay at Osun schools religious outfit, commissions 750million secondary school named after him. [PUNCH]
Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, on Monday frowned on the situation where pupils wear uniforms depicting their religious affiliations to schools across the country.
Soyinka spoke during the inauguration of a N750m school built by the Osun State Government in Ejigbo. The school was named after him.
Though Soyinka expressed happiness at the honour done him by Governor Rauf Aregesola, he warned against diving the pupils along religious lines by allowing them to wear uniforms that typified their religious affiliations.
Soyinka said there should be nothing to divide pupils along religious lines, adding that the feeling of holier than thou was one of the factors that brought about the abduction of the Chibok girls by Boko Haram insurgents.
He said, “One of the ways we can reduce this fatalistic sense of holiness is to reduce the element of difference. I wish to implore that we do not distinguish our children by their religions.”
Soyinka, however, commended the governor for what he had done to improve the standard of education in the state.
Aregbesola inaugurated the school established by his administration in Ejigbo.
The governor described Soyinka as the greatest scholar in Africa.
The Wole Soyinka Government High School, Ejigbo is a 3,000-capacity complex with 72 classrooms of 49 square-metres, each capable of sitting 49 students and has six offices for study groups.
Speaking on the occasion, the governor said no amount of money spent on education was too much, saying it deserved the utmost attention.
He said that in the first quarter of next year, his government would also inaugurate another set of schools in the same category.
Aregbesola said, “We can construct a good road that will last for 50 years and we are doing that, but this can never compare to the enlightenment an educated person receives in terms of its value to the society and humanity.
“The state of education prior to our coming was appalling and frighteningly so. Zoos were better than the places where the pupils were receiving education. Many of them were dilapidated and falling down.
“These schools were, therefore, not encouraging any serious learning or character building. The result was that the pupils themselves were behaving like animals. They were forming cult groups, fighting regularly with dangerous weapons and engaged in all immoral acts.
“These are children, aged seven and above. My heart bleeds to see the public education system disintegrate and become dysfunctional.”