In an ironic twist of fate, a student of Osogbo Grammar School (formerly, Osogbo Government High School), Master Akintade Abdullahi, on Monday shined a light into the educational policy of the immediate past administration in Osun State, as he emerged the overall best Young Nigerian Scientist of the Year at a ceremony organised by the Federal Ministry of Science & Technology in Abuja.
Osun State Governor, Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola, had recently discarded the educational policy of his predecessor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, citing disapproval from residents of the state, following the recommendation of a committee set up for that purpose. The reversal was followed by generous applause from a section of the media, who praised Oyetola for his decision but castigated Aregbesola for what they described as a failed policy.
Abdullahi, spotting the general school uniform prescribed by the Aregbesola administration at the Eagle Square, Abuja venue of the award, achieved the feat having won the first position in the National Examination of the 774 Young Nigerian Scientists Presidential Award, organised by the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who presented the award, also gave a scholarship to the young student up to PhD level as he commended his brilliance. Abdullahi’s school was commissioned by Buhari in September 2015 and is one of the 11 of such built by the former governor with each having a capacity for 3,000 students.
An elated Oyetola commended Buhari for awarding Abdullahi a full scholarship up to PhD level for emerging the overall best Young Nigerian Scientist of the Year. The Governor, who personally congratulated the winner and his parents, expressed his appreciation to Buhari while fielding questions from journalists shortly after the presentation of the Presidential Awards to the young Abdullahi and two others on Monday at the Eagle Square, Abuja. The Governor was Guest of honour at the event.
He lauded the President “for putting measures in place to build the capacity of the youth through education as a way of preparing them for their role as the leaders of tomorrow.”
He also commended the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology for instituting the 774 Young Nigerian Scientists Presidential Award to develop the interest of young Nigerians in the sciences through competitive examinations.
According to him, this will enable Nigerian youths to compete internationally and become renowned laureates in the sciences.
The governor said he was elated and proud that a son of The State of Osun emerged the Overall Best Young Nigerian Scientist of the Year, noting that the feat was a testament to the quality of the public school system in the State.
“The emergence of Master Akintade Abdullahi Akanbi, from a humble background and a product of our public school system, Osogbo Grammar School, as the Best Young Nigerian Scientist of the Year is a testament to the quality of the public school system of the State of Osun.
“This award is a lesson to our youths that their background cannot and should not be a hindrance to their success in life. It is also a lesson that there is hope for the nation’s public school system if we muster the political will to make it qualitative and productive.
“For us in Osun, education is the bedrock and the driver of our Development Agenda. We are committed to providing adequate, qualitative, equitable and functional education for our children.
“I am proud to say that there are many Akintades in our public schools waiting to emerge. We shall continue to expose them to opportunities and offer them same so that our aim of using education as the driver of sustainable development would be attained,” Oyetola added.
He also urged corporate organisations to complement the Federal Government’s efforts by instituting competitions and facilitating projects that will produce scientists for massive technological development.