Sunday 11 June 2023


The Ilesa Grammar School Old Students Association 68/72 Set, last week rolled out the drums to celebrate 50 years of graduating from the school.

As part of the Ceremonies, that featured Quiz competition, commemorative tree planting, commissioning of building and Church Thanksgiving Service, Professor Bisi Balogun, former Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Akure, himself an alumni of the school, was the Guest Lecturer at the 50th Anniversary Lecture of 2nd June, 2023 at the Ilesa Grammar School, Hall.

Exposing on the topic " Alumni Associations and the Burden of development of Secondary Education, Prof. Balogun said that the alumni is an asset to the institution, and their contributions and involvement can significantly increase the reputation of the institution nationally and internationally and that successful alumni can be the social model for unity of the society and a factor for economic growth and development.


Find below a full text of the Anniversary Lecture;


There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered. - Nelson Mandela

“Nobody is bothered about an institution more than its ALUMNI.” - Narayana Murthy

“I think the success of any school can be measured by the contribution the ALUMNI make to her national life.” - John F. Kenedy

“Recall it as often as you wish, a happy memory never wears out.” - Libbie Fudim 


The business of ALUMNI is a divine covenant of Giving and Receiving. Balogun, (2020)


To appraise the burden of development of Secondary education and the core values that drives their development as unique brands, centres of excellence and beacon of hope for the society

To discuss the roles of Alumni as the primordial resource mobilisers to their Alma-mater

Who is an alumnus?

ALUMNUS: Refer to a group of male graduates or a mixed-gender group

ALUMNI: Graduate or former student of a particular educational institution; former member, employee etc

ALUMNA: The feminine singular form of the Alumni

What is Development? 

"The total process by which an organization increases public understanding of its mission and acquires financial support for its programs."

National Minimum Standards and Establishment of Institutions Act of 1985 provided for the Minimum standards in secondary schools and certain categories of teacher education.

It also provided for the purpose of secondary school education and the structure of secondary education. 

The responsibility for the establishment and maintenance of minimum standards in secondary schools and similar institutions shall be vested in the Minister for Federal and the Governor for the states.


The purpose of secondary education as outlined in Act shall be to:

1. Provide an increasing number of primary school pupils with the opportunity for education of a higher quality, irrespective of sex, social, religion, or ethnic background.

2. Equip students to live effectively in the modern age of science and technology

3. Develop and project Nigerian culture, art, language as well as universal and cultural heritage

4. Foster Nigerian Unity with emphasis on the common ties that unite us in our diversity

5. Raise a generation of people who can think for themselves

6. Respect the views and feelings of others

7.  Respect the dignity of labour and appreciate those values under our broad national aims so as to enable them live and function as good citizen

8. Inspire students with a desire for achievements and self-improvement both at school and later on in life.


Junior secondary education curriculum shall be structured to take care of acquiring suitable academic and pre- vocational and shall include all basic subjects to enable pupils to develop appropriate skills.

The senior secondary stage shall be comprehensive and shall have a core curriculum designed to broaden pupils knowledge and outlook.

What is Government compliance with the provisions of the Purpose and Structure

In the past, especially in the pre and immediate post independent Nigeria, there were substantial compliance with the provisions of the purpose of secondary education. 

Many of us who seated here today were products of immediate post independence secondary school system. 

It was to the credit of the Western regional government led by Chief Obafemi Awolowo that free education was introduced with adequate funding, monitoring and compliance with the standards. 

We were all also beneficiaries of the free education policy at the primary level during that period.

There was satisfaction by the teachers and that actually engendered discipline and commitment among the teachers at that time. 

Quality teachers were posted to secondary schools to impart knowledge, discipline and skills to the pupils under their care.

Appropriate fees were also charged because most of the schools were community owned or faith- based.

Ilesa Grammar School established in February, 1934 under auspices of the " Egbe atunluse" with Motto of the school " E hu wa omoluwabi". This motto actually set the core values and the moral compass of the school.

It is with nostalgia that we remember the commitment and doggedness of Reverend Akinyemi and other disciplinarians in the name of Papas Oriowo, Bifarin, Papa Adeyekun( papa geography). 

We also remember the younger teachers in chemistry, biology, mathematics, physics and other subjects who raised us and built our foundation to become who we are today either in the sciences, Arts, engineering and many other professional callings. 

In line with the purpose of secondary education, adequate facilities in terms of laboratories, workshops and sporting facilities, classrooms and boarding facilities for us to fulfill our hopes and aspirations.

Even when it became expedient to fulfill the purpose of satisfying the need to give opportunity to gender equality; and the merger between the erstwhile Ilegrrams was merged with Obokun High School in 1964 or thereabouts to become Ijesa Comprehensive High School, the pursuit of academic quality and moral standard were not lost on the school. 

To God be the glory and to the good intervention of many and strategic Alumni, the name was reverted to Ilesa Grammar School.

Also in fulfillment of the purpose of its establishment, the school right from inception became a melting pot of many tribes coming from different regions of the country to taste of the goodness of secondary education at Ilesa Grammar School.

What is the situation as from the 1980s?

Odekunle in his lecture on the 80th Anniversary Lecture of Ilesa Grammar School have premised that since the middle of the 1980s, succeeding governments have failed to provide the requisite enabling socio- economic and political environment and the following associated challenges have emerged.


Poverty-induced lack of quality

System induced lack of appropriate role models

Lack of transparency and accountability in government and public affairs

Political manipulation and misuse of youth organizations 

Observable indicipline and conspicuous consumption by the elites

Glorification of material wealth and corruption 

Decline in the provision of facilities for quality education

Decline in the application of merit in accessing opportunities in the public sphere

Sexual exploitation, prostitution and female trafficking 

Drug abuse, drug trafficking and delinquency in and out of school, and violent criminal activities.

In our society today, education which was regarded as an enduring tool for our social- cultural, economic, scientific and technological development have become relegated to the background.

Joseph Addison described education"as a companion which no fortune can depress; no crime can destroy; no enemy can alienate; no despotism can enslave...................................., and in society an ornament.."

The relegation of education to the background of scheme of things in Nigeria is reflected on the budgetary allocation to education when compared to other smaller nations in the continent. It is also a reflection of the Japa syndrome that has plagued Nigeria

We fail to conserve our human resources for   " wise use" in the country but the government preserve her own human resources for use of other countries for them to develop.

In 2016, education got 7. 9% of the budget. This was reduced to 6. 1 %  in 2017 and slightly increased to 7.1% in 2018. In 2020, allocation was 6.5% and was 5.7% and 5.4% in 2021 and 2022 respectively. 

In 2023, and in a total budget of N1.79 trillion  ( 8.2% ) for the FME and its agencies, N239 billion was allocated to capital expenditure, while N706.5 billion and N52 billion was allocated to recurrent expenditure and overheads.

This percentage is lower than what was recommended by UNESCO. UNESCO recommended that member nations should earmark four to six percent of their GDP or 15 to 20 percent of public expenditure to fund education.

UNESCO also put the estimate of out - of - school children at 20 million; the highest in Africa.

The multidimensional poverty rate which was put at about 133 million Nigerians ( NBS, 2022) has put a lot of on parents to send their children to school.

The abject lack of interest in the development of education by the ruling elites have prompted the following in all our facets of education including secondary school education:-

Lack of vocational skills acquisition which used to be part of our educational curriculum in Ilesa Grammar School at the time we were there.

Poor and absolute lack of teaching and learning infrastructures 

All the points mentioned are excercibated by very poor funding of our educational institutions

Dearth of committed teachers

Poor and uninspiring remuneration for teachers

The above scenarios put a lot of burden on the formally passive stakeholders of the various educational institutions. 

The Alumni Associations as one of the important stakeholders will have to intervene to alleviate these burdens; and at least put their institutions back on the path of sanity.


‘operate in a cap- in- hand educational environment characterised by lack of funding from government’

“limited capacity to generate additional funds through highly underdeveloped IGR mechanism are critical challenges” 






"The involvement of ALUMNI in supporting and providing contributions voluntarily to their university is important for maintaining and expanding a university’s development."- Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa

"An institution who fails to promote ALUMNI with sterling qualities and renowned scholarship, has failed to impact positively or purposefully on the larger society"- Balogun (2019)

1. Requirement of Fund for the Pursuit of Academic Excellence in Secondary school institutions

2. Provision of infrastructural facilities such as lectures theatres, laboratories, halls of residence, roads, water, electricity, etc

3. Capacity development and enhancement

4. Recurrent expenditure which include the payment of salaries and maintenance of facilities


Raising fund to the school

Interact with the principal on the direction for the general and good administration of the school

Coordinate the activities of the different sub-sets of alumni of the school.

Interact with government on issues affecting the school

Serve as an advancement platform of the school

THE 1968/72 SET

The event of today is organized to mark the 50th anniversary of the 68/72 set and the important highlight of the celebration is the honour done to one of our principals who was one of the builders of the school.

A building is being commissioned to honour this great principal by the same set of old students. This effort is highly commendable as they take a queue  from other set of alumni who have also done great and marvelous things to renovate buildings and bring up the values of infrastructures, (class room building, hall renovation, laboratory and health center).

Great and other older alumni have renovated the only iconic building in the school. This is what all set of alumni should be encourage to do. It is in doing this that will activate the spirit of “giving back to the school” that gave so much opportunities to us to become what we are today. This is the path of honour and glory.

I therefore salute and congratulate the 1968/72 set on this occasion of their 50th anniversary.

Happy anniversary and many happy returns


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