Interview

70th Anniversary: Oyemekun Grammar School has produced Leaders of Distinction- Ogunleye

By Dupson Collins, 17th January, 2023

Mr Ogunleye Okeowo, the Principal of the Only School, Oyemekun Grammar School Akure speaks with the PATH on the 70th Anniversary of the school, 65 years teachers retirement age, payment of over N500m WAEC fees among others.

The Only School is celebrating its 70 years anniversary; what is the level of preparation?

We are fully on ground and preparation is on top gear. It is our prayer that the celebration meet us well. We have written to the government and approval for the anniversary has been given by the authority. Our old students are also on ground for a befitting celebration. In my own as the principal of the Only School, I have written series of letters to the old students, reminding them on the need to give back to their alma mater.

What have been the contribution of the Old Students in regards to the anniversary?

They are the one celebrating their alma mater. If you go around the school premises, you will know that Oyemekun is wearing a new look, courtesy of the Old Students. New structure and renovation is going on; if it might interest you, we are having a new Administrative Block, New Structures, renovation of classrooms. 1974 Sets is renovating about 6 classrooms which they have donated to the school some years back.
The National President is donating an ultra modern Administrative Block to the school, the Central body of Old Students is renovating the long Block with about 14 classrooms. It going to be a week long activities starting with Press briefing, road show, courtesy visit to the Deji of Akure who happens to be an Old Students, Public Lecture among other activities line up for the 70th anniversary.

Would you say the school has achieved a lot in terms of human and capital development?

Yes, the school is noted for excellence. From the day the school was established in 1953, the first set of the students that passed out was in 1957, whereas the school was supposed to present students for WASCE in 1958 but the pioneer principal of the school then, Baba Adinlewa approached the examination body, telling them that his boys will stand for the exam. These students were in Form 5 when they stood for exam that officially should have taken place in Form 6. The school presented 35 students for WASCE in Form 5 and they all passed the examination in flying colours.
That was where the slogan of the Only School came into existence; we are the only school that presented students for WASCE in Form 5. Since, it has always been a success story. Oyemekun Grammar School has produced leaders of distinction in their various field of endeavours. We have Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers, Surveyors, Journalists, captain of industries among other reputable men of integrity in the society.

What is your take on the approval of 65 years Retirement age or 40 Service Years by the governor?

I’ m using this medium to appreciate our Mr Talk and Do governor. Arakunrin is a man of his words and I believe he will begin implementation as soon as possible. On the part of teachers welfare, we will continue to thank him and the governor can be assured that the teachers are ready to double up their efforts in service delivery. Though, some people are arguing that, if more years are added to our service years, it might affect the young ones and productivity. This narrative of age could affect our ability or capacity, holds no water. We are determined to add values to the education sector of Ondo State. With our experience, we can do better and cater more for the students.

The News Administrative Block under construction

In what has become an annual payment of WAEC fees for the SS3 students; how commendable is this giant strides of the governor?

This is another area where both the teachers and parents are thanking Mr Governor. Last year alone, we presented about 495 students and if you add up the amount paid by the government, it ran into millions of Naira. We are thanking the governor for this kind gesture extended to our students. While I was briefing the parents about the gesture of Mr Governor, on hearing the news, they were all happy because it will relieve them of the burden of sourcing for money to pay the exam fees.
The Governor has made it his priority to offset WAEC fees of SSS3 students every year. It has been a straight three years of non stop of payment which has shown Aketi as education loving governor. He promised to redeemed and revamped the comatose education sector and restored the loss glory of the state which he has done with the huge investment in the sector.
If out of shortage of fund, Governor Akeredolu is investing so much on education every year, then, he should be commended.

What is your charge to the students and parents that are direct beneficiaries?

To the parents, the gesture extended to the students, through the office of Mr Governor has proved one thing, that, Akeredolu is a kind hearted man. They should endeavour to support and cooperate with his government in other to enjoy more dividend of democracy. Let’s pray for the sustainability of his government and good health to do more. The only way to pay back the governor is for the students to pass out with flying colours.

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