Carpenter's Son Edun Olabanji Emerges As The Winner Of The Lagos One Day Governor
In line with its tradition of promoting academic excellence among its youths, Lagos State Government yesterday hosted its 14th One Day Governor, Master Olabanji Edun who chaired a session of the State Executive Council meeting at the Lagos House, Ikeja.
The Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), who yielded his seat for him to encourage the 15-year-old lad who came tops at this year’s edition of the Spelling Bee Competition urged the lucky “Governor” and his team to continue to be good ambassadors of the Competition and the public education system.
The 15-year-old One Day Governor of the State, an SS2 student of Army Children’s Senior Secondary School, Military Cantonment, Maryland, came with his Deputy, Miss Azeez Opeyemi Blessing and other members of his cabinet comprising his Chief of Staff, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, his Commissioners and Special Advisers.
Welcoming the One Day Governor to the Executive Council chambers, Governor Fashola expressed joy that in spite of the challenges facing the public schools in terms of population, competition and space, they have been able to produce brilliant students who are continually doing the State proud.
Explaining the peculiar challenges of the public education system in a mega city of over 21 million people further, the Governor said they lie in the fact that out of the 14,000 schools within the territory of Lagos only about 2,000 belong to the Government and only in these schools are free education run, free textbooks given to school children along with other incentives adding that as a result, there is pressure on registration as many parents and guardians want their children to benefit from those polices.
According to him, “Only in those 2,000 schools is Education free, only in those schools are textbooks given free to pupils and students; where children participate in different Clubs like Power Kids Club, Climate Change Club, Young Farmers Club, Energy Club and even Be Road Friendly Club and all these happen at no cost to the children”.
“It must be explained, therefore, that those schools will be in high demand; it must explain the very full classrooms; so when the population of these schools are being compared with 20 children per classroom in private schools we are certainly not comparing apples with apples”, the Governor said.
Governor Fashola declared, “But in spite of these challenges, these children continue to do us proud, to do their teachers proud, to do their parents proud and to do us who manage the system proud that at least the efforts we make are yielding results”.
Noting that the story of the success of the children from the State’s Public Education System inspires his administration “to stay focused on the course that it is pursuing, the Governor added, “It is a course of success; it will mature in the fullness of time” listing some of the lessons of the process to include the fact that “diversity is on display”.
“This process is ethnic blind, it is culture blind and it is religion blind. This process is about developing children, about today and about tomorrow and it is also gender blind. It is simply merit-driven, the best amongst the very good”, he said.
According to the Governor, it is also important to note that the children that feature in the process are children of the ordinary working class.
“The champion and leader of this children today is from very humble parents; his father is a wood worker whom you will call carpenter while his mother drives a truck at LAWMA that moves our refuse about. But in spite of that clearly they have not abdicated their parenting responsibilities”.
Responsible parenting, Fashola said, accounts for why the child is not on the street while the other part is that “the State Government runs a policy of free education that allows everybody to get a shot so that no child will be left behind”.
While congratulating the One day Governor and his cabinet, and their teachers, he expressed the hope that the experience they garnered while touring the government and private sector facilities and agencies would deepen their education. He added that some of the students who have passed through that process have benefited from government excursions to other countries such as visit to Brazil to watch the World Cup to broaden their horizon and enable them have a well rounded education.
The Governor promised to meet some of the requests made by the One Day Governor on behalf of his school, including a bus which he undertook to fulfill, a school hall for which he mandated the Commissioner for Education to look into and checking the erosion in the school premised which he also mandated the Commissioner for the Environment to look into.
He declared, “If the winners of our competition are concerned about their schools, we must pay more attention to those schools which are the champions so that they can produce more champions and in that way, perhaps, they will inspire other schools to also compete. May be by the time we pay special attention to your schools you are making other schools to reach the championship of the Spelling Bee Competition”.
Congratulating the winners of the Competition so far, Governor Fashola promised that the State Government would continue to devote a lot of attention to all of those who have passed through the process adding, “We will continue to put our eyes on you and your development”.
Earlier, in his remarks, the One Day Governor praised Governor Fashola and his team for taking Education to a very lofty height and unprecedented level in the State adding that the Spelling Bee Competition introduced by Senator Oluremi Tinubu in 2001 has remained a rallying point for students of public schools to aspire to greater heights.
Also present at the occasion were members of the State Executive Council, including the Deputy Governor, Hon. (Mrs.) Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, Chief of Staff, Mr. Lanre Babalola, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba and his Budget and Economic Planning counterpart, Mr. Ben Akabueze among others while the One Day Governor came with members of his Cabinet and his parents.