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Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Oba establishes a free five - star hotel school for the poorest of the poor in Nigeria ! by Wale Ojo Lanre

Oba establishes a free  five - star hotel school  for the poorest of the poor in Nigeria ! by Wale Ojo Lanre   

January 25, 2016

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Culled from the Tribune 
The school, equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, is indeed one of its kind. Its uniqueness lies not only in the fact that the school is open to the less privileged, it provides quality education to both indigenes and non-indigenes of Osun State.  WALE OJO-LANRE reports his findings after being conducted on a tour of Oba Abolarin School.
As part of efforts to contribute towards national development, in line with the accepted fact that education is a stepping stone to greatness, a first class traditional ruler, His Royal Majesty, Oba Adedokun Omoniyi Abolarin, Aroyinkeye II, Orangun of Oke-Ila, Ifedayo Local Government, Osun State, has set the standard for sustainable development, by establishing the Oba Abolarin School, located at Bamikole Dada way, off Oduduwa Road, Sapakin Area.
The school, which is best described as one of its kind in terms of structure, quality of education offered, and the unique attribute of providing education for the less privileged, targets street children, motorcycle operators, as well as those financially handicapped to access quality education.
Oba Abolarin School is a free boarding school, equipped with state of the art facilities, and at present, has 28 boys and 27 girls drawn from different towns such as Igbajo, Ororuwo, Aagba, Ada, Igbaye, in Osun  State, as well as wards from other states, but whose parents reside in Osun State.
To Oba Abolarin, every child counts, and paucity of funds should not hinder an individual from accessing proper education.
The setting up of the institution was announced to all by the monarch, during his enthronement, as part of his mission statement which focused on offering hope to children who roam the streets.
Some unique things about the school are its location, ambiance and structure. While one may assume that a school expected to cater to the less privileged would be quite simple, the school boasts of state-of-the-art facilities domiciled in a conducive environment.
‘Before now, accessing education was a distant dream’
Odeniyi Quawan, a student of the school, in an interview with Nigerian Tribune, speaking on the benefits the school has provided for him, noted that “I thought I was created by God and dumped on this earth to suffer, to slave and to die in penury. I thought I was branded to hawk for eternity or till Jesus comes back without having any opportunity to attend any educational institution in my life.
“It was tormenting then, when I saw my mates attending school, and I could not join them. I never thought that I, Quawan, a street hawker, would, one day, be a proud student of a luxuriously equipped school. I want to thank Oba Abolarin who raised and offered me hope, which in the not-too-distant past, was a dream.”
Miss Blessing Anefiok  Kaizer ,  a native of Akwa Ibom, whose parents are based in Oke-Ila, states that “The first time I set my feet on this school premises, I could not believe my eyes. I felt like I was in paradise. In fact, it’s more than paradise when you compare this environment with where I am coming from, and because of the fact that there is no private or public school that can boast of having such structure and facilities as found in Oba Abolarin College. It was like a dream. However, it dawned on me that it was not a dream when I passed the first night in a double-bunked bed with electricity being supplied by two powerful generators. I’m still so amazed that such an environment is actually made for the children of the poor.”
The school hall, best described as a hall of photo history, hosts historical pictures that tell and teach the students stories of politics and national life, as well as international entities who have contributed to global development.
Students of the school are a wonderful lot and will dazzle any visitor as they welcome people in fluent English. There are also performances as well as recitations in near-perfect French language.
‘We are training a globally acceptable set of students’
Speaking on the setting up of the school, Oba Abolarin stated that “We are training a globally acceptable set of students. UNESCO has declared English, French and Spanish as the three internationally recognised languages. Thus, we are preparing them to tap into the benefits of the world.”
Though the emphasis at the school is excellent education, made available by qualified and seasoned staff, proficient in educational principles and courses with copious access to instructional materials and facilities, Oba Abolarin School has not compromised in standards in any way.
Conducting Nigerian Tribune on a tour of the school, Oba Abolarin revealed that “It is a total educational package. We strive for the best in teaching and learning. We go for the best in nutritional provision and engage them in vocational, recreational and cultural – tourism – activities.”
And to attest to this, the reporter asked the class “Can anyone of you exhibit any cultural idea?”
Immediately, the class chorused the praise chant of Oba Adedokun Abolarin in traditional dialect, as well as that of the Ooni of Ife, which was also rendered beautifully.
“Here at Abolarin School, we are injecting abundant liveliness into supposedly lifeless expectation. It is all-round total education. It’s like producing gold and silver from mud. If you expect to see gaunt-looking, mean or hungry faces on the students, you’ll be shocked,” Oba Abolarin stated.
“We were not like this when some of us came here. Almost all of us, in fact, all of us you see as handsome and beautiful now were stone-faced, badly fed, hunger-stricken lads when we resumed here. I was a hawker of banana, and Kabiyesi will testify to the fact that it was in this school that I first tasted corn flakes and that day I vomited. But now, it’s my favourite. All thanks to Oba Abolarin School,” one of the students related.
As he narrated his first encounter with corn flakes, other students were happy to tell their first encounter and experience with meals like fried rice, noodles, oats, custard, toast bread, fried egg, and the use of cutleries.
“I can never conjure it in my deepest dream that, one day, I will eat with a set of cutlery in my life, not to talk of drinking tea, bread, custard, fried and poached eggs on regular basis. In fact, we cannot eat without our sets of cutlery any longer. The so called classy meals meant for the super rich are now our regulars, thanks to Abolarin School,” Ajinba Dolapo, one of the students enthusiastically revealed   while the others nodded.
Students exhibit discipline, orderliness
The level of discipline and orderliness which the students of the school have imbibed was displayed during lunch time when everyone congregated at the Ooni Sijuade dining hall. Each of them approached the kitchen, collected their food and ate with their cutleries, not hands.”
The astounding part was not the quantity of the wrap of eba, which one may qualify as an adult portion, as the writer was unable to finish his own, the expertise displayed with the use of cutleries by the hitherto street hawkers as if they were born with it, was equally amazing.
Afterwards, obviously a habit formed by strict training, each student packed and washed the plates, cleaned the tables and help in cleaning the kitchen.
“Here it is participatory education. All of them are good at cooking. Also, all of them are engaged in vocational training. Some of them have been making money from confectioneries during holidays; we are just helping to translate their dreams to realities,” Oba Abolarin stated.
Adewale Ronke, who has a dream of becoming a lawyer, stated that “I am sure I will become a lawyer. I am being tailored here to pursue a career, and I’m being monitored in Guidance and Counselling as well.  I thank God for the day Kabiyesi Abolarin was born. I got the form free and everything I enjoy in this school including the uniform, slippers, personal computer is free. If they are not free, how we can the children of the poor enjoy five star educational treatment, the best of its kind in Osun State?” 
Oba Abolarin revealed that “It is the spirit of God that is at work with this vision. All that is happening here is not only by my power but that of God and eminent and distinguished Nigerians who have seen the good in this project and have been there to assist and support. Most of these facilities are donations – the two generators, the PCs – and one of the children has been adopted for sponsorship by a friend. These are just some of the benefits enjoyed by the students.”
Continuing, he pointed out that “I have determined to build my own vision in these children instead of gallivanting or showing off at events and parties. I have the onerous responsibility to build a future with my little resources and the help of my dearest friends in these wonderful children of mine so that our society can enjoy freedom from liabilities, crime and waywardness. It is a worthwhile project which I implore every one of us to partner with and become agents of engendering a brighter future for hopeless souls. I count on every one to support me in this task of ensuring that every child counts. Join hands with me in the efforts at ensuring that the future starts now.”