- L-R: Governor Seyi Makinde, Dr. Wale Babalakin (SAN), and others during the cutting of tape of the GCI main road reconstructed by Babalakin … on Saturday.
Dr. Wale Babalakin Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and President of Government College Ibadan Old Boys Association (GCIOBA) has rebuilt the main road to his alma mater.
The road was commissioned on Saturday by Governor Seyi Makinde, as part of activities marking the 2021 Annual Re-Union Program as GCIOBA.
Also commissioned were the renovated Powell House Hostel; Carr House Hostel; the GCI Health and Wellness Hub; a Lecture Theatre and the GCI Museum.
An impressed Gov. Makinde said his government will support GCI and other schools in the state to achieve their fullest educational potential, saying it was only a matter of time before the state becomes the first in the education sector.
He said once the state is able to surmount the two major challenges facing the education sector, then Oyo State would take its pride of place as the best in education across the country.
The obstacles he identified are the quality of the teaching staff and the need for parents to take major responsibility in training their children.
“The main issue I can see here today is that this is almost like a massive construction site. You see one project or the other going on everywhere here, being championed by the Old Students Association of the Government College, Ibadan.
“I think most of us have one or two things to learn and, from the result that you can see, as a government, we will support them to the fullest extent possible.
“I want to assure that they will get whatever they need from the government.”
The governor, who was commended by the GCIOBA for his administration’s support to the institution, especially in the area of teachers’ posting, equally maintained that his administration will continue to explore all avenues for the improvement of the education sector.
“In the education sector, you will always have challenges no matter how good the system is. But there will always be room for improvement.
“We have challenges with the teachers, the quality of teachers and also getting parents to know that the government will try but they have the primary responsibility to train their children.
“So we have to do more in those areas and once those areas can complement what we are doing, I think Oyo State is well on its way to becoming the first educationally,” the governor added.
The 2021 GCIOBA Re-union program kicked off on Friday in Abeokuta with the Annual Lecture held at Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library during which Babalakin the old students have invested over N2bn in infrastructure in the school since 2017.
He explained that this was informed by the reality that government lacked the capacity to fund education adequately.
Babalakin said, “We are celebrating a glorious past and the determination to create a greater future. Between 2017 and now, the old boys of Government College has invested over N2bn in their alma mater. All class sets contributed and are still contributing and willing to contribute.
“Any education that is not good is not worthwhile. If education is going be free, it must be good, if it’s not good, it is not worth having at all.
“This is the thing that has motivated Government College old boys to partner the Oyo State Government to rebuild our school.
“Government can hardly fund education today. We are keen on providing an example on how education should be in Nigeria.”
Present at the lecture were the Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, former president Olusegun Obasanjo and a host of other dignitaries.
In his remarks, Obasanjo said, “I believe that where it is possible, state governments should hand over the responsibility of running of old schools to their alumni. It will be a relief to the state governments.
“Education is so critical that it should not be left in the hands of the government alone. If we are going to get there, we must take education seriously.”