Guest ColumnistInside Nigeria

“The old order changeth’’ By Kunle Oyatomi

...Osun APC spokesperson on Oyetola's reversal of Aregbesola's Education System

Kunle Oyatomi (Photo credit-Osun Defender)
Kunle Oyatomi (Photo credit-Osun Defender)

There should really be no public uproar, as it were, with regard to the current education reforms in Osun State under Governor Gboyega Oyetola. Many have termed it as an abandonment of the ‘legacy’ of the governor’s predecessor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on account of the reintroduction of multiple uniforms which Aregbesola scrapped in his time, as well as the abolition of middle schools among other changes. Commentators describe the new policies as a ‘reversal’ of the work of the former governor.

Really? No, not so. They need to digest these golden lines from the British poet of the 19th Century, Alfred Lord Tennyson:‘’The old order changeth, yielding place to new, And God fulfils Himself in many ways, Lest one good custom should corrupt the world.’’
It is in the light of the penetrating wisdom in those lines from “Morted’ Arthur’’ that the good people of Osun must interpret what we are witnessing in the state under the Oyetola Administration. Simply put, a new order has come into place in Osun, not to destroy the ‘good’ old older or to denigrate it. Not at all. The older was quite good. But when God Almighty ushers in a new dispensation along with a new set of helmsmen, He does it to prevent a situation where ‘one good custom should corrupt the world’’.
The point therefore is that a cosmic principle is in place in the education sector in Osun State. If that’s what’s playing out, we must be extremely careful not to brandish the sword to slay Oyetola. Why view what he is doing from a narrow prism? Why are we not looking at the governor’s stand panoramically? Why are we not projecting him and his actions as needful for the moment for a launch into the next level? Let us all in Osun welcome him with open arms, the same way we embraced him with our sacred votes.
We must acknowledge that Oyetola can make use of the mandate only if he combines the best of the past and the best of the past. The present has thrown in challenges which the past policies, ‘’the good custom’’ as Tennyson describes it, didn’t foresee. It couldn’t have been a bad custom, since it served a great purpose. But in the dynamics of development of society there is what we call the ‘struggle of ideas’. When a thesis arrives in a particular epoch, a new idea brings in an opposing antithesis to displace it. A synthesis then follows to resolve the seeming conflict. The interesting point here is that the final antithesis contains elements of the thesis and the antithesis. However, none lasts forever on its own. Even the antithesis is displaced to form a thesis. This is a triad that goes on infinitely to keep society moving.
We must count ourselves in Osun fortunate to have a governor honouring this inexorable law of change and progress. And he’s doing it in a pivotal sector where radical changes can bring correspondingly rapid and fundamental changes into the society now and in the future.
We must remember that if we get it right in the education sector in Osun, we are good to go in all aspects of the aspects of the society. The great Tai Solarin once told a group of senior journalists who visited him at his famous Mayflower School, Ikenne: ‘’Education is it. We need to educate everyone.’’ I believe that is exactly what we are doing in Osun.
  • OYATOMI, a former editor of Sunday Vanguard, speaks for All Progressives Congress in Osun
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