Inspiring interview retiring tutor-general TESCOM Ogbomoso granted Laogun Adeoye MHS Press Club 

Inspiring interview retiring tutor-general TESCOM Ogbomoso granted Laogun Adeoye MHS Press Club 



Pastor Olatunde Lanre Suulola was Permanent Secretary (PS) – Tutor-General Oyo State Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) Ogbomoso zonal office, until March 27, 2024, when he statutorily retired, after 34 years 2 months in the teaching profession. His strides  in Ogbomoso were impactful; he brought panache and passion, and is a stickler for doing the right thing the right way and in the process he helped restore some sanity in the system just as he recorded sterling achievements in the physical structure of the TESCOM office, thereby enhancing the teaching and learning culture in the zone, which is the core of the profession. In a bold and daring move, and in a creative fashion, the Press Club of Laogun Adeoye Memorial High School (LAMHS), Ogbomoso, represented by a team comprising four students (including a JSS one student), conducted an interview for him at his office at Oja-tutun, on February 8, 2024. The students, Oladejo Emmanuel, Oyetunde Iyanu-Oluwa, Subuloye Samson and John Mary, were accompanied by their coordinators, Mrs. Olufunmilola Amole and Mrs. Mojisola Abidemi Owolabi. The energetic and dynamic principal of the school, Mrs. Racheal Olufunmike Ojediran, led the team. But the interview was solely the responsibility of the students.

Ogbomoso Insight brings excerpts of the concise interview. It is being reproduced here to commemorate the grand retirement programme being held in his honour today, March 29 at Oyo, his hometow

Good morning sir, we will like you to make a brief and concise introduction about yourself

I am Olatunde Lanre Suulola. I am a pastor in a church, l am  a husband of a single woman, Mrs. Olayide Ayodele Suulola in Oyo town, I am equally a father of two beautiful girls and one boy. l am a man of many parts. I am a teacher by profession, I have served as principal, l have served as Head of Zone and presently I am the Tutor-General in charge of Ogbomoso zone


Can we know your educational background?

I am from Oyo town, born and bred in Oyo town, Oyo state. I started school there in 1970, at Isokun Baptist Day Primary School, I spent 6 years there. In 1976, l proceeded to Abiodun Atiba Memorial Institute, for my secondary school education. I thereafter went for HSC (Higher School Certificate) at Olivet Height Oyo 1982 – 1984. At the end of my two years at Olivet l got my A’ Level certificate. Then, l entered the University of Ife for my degree programme. I studied Biology Education. I graduated in 1987. Then, University of Ife, now called Obafemi Awolowo University. I served and in 1990, I became a teacher. I served in about 11 schools before l became a principal. In 2020/2021, I became Head of Zone (HOZ) Oyo zonal TESCOM and in April 2022, the state governor, His Excellency, Engr. Seyi Makinde appointed me Tutor-General and I was posted here in May 2022. I came here and I will be retiring on March 27, having served for 34 years 2 months. Have l not tried

Mrs. Ojediran principal Laogun Adeoye Memorial High School Ogbomoso

Give more details sir, how you became Permanent Secretary

When I was made Head of Zone – Head of Zone is the head of all teachers in a particular zone, all schools in that zone will be under him, as the most senior principal. In Oyo then, l was having 56 schools under me. That was what l was doing in 2020. His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde, now made the pronouncement that all of us that were HoZs that time he would change us to Permanent Secretaries and that was how we started trusting God for the opportunity but that did not come to reality until 2021 when we were asked to go and write the exams, about 648 of us sat for the exams and at the end of the day, 84 people were picked, 84 people succeeded out of 648. Out of the 84, 28 were appointed immediately as at April 29, 2022. 28 of us were appointed as Permanent Secretaries, and I was lucky to be one of them. May 3rd or 4th, l was posted to Ogbomoso zone as the Tutor-General


What are some of the challenges you face?

An average person will not want to do what is right, even if they know what is right, not to talk of teaching and learning system where students are supposed to be in school as at when due, when teachers are supposed to go to school to do the needful as at when due, where principals are supposed to be the accounting officers and monitor them the way it is expected so that at the end of the day, we will have our students sitting for their WAEC and NECO and making their results at once and prepare them to make their JAMB likewise at once and get their admissions at once. In the process of getting this done we cannot but come across several students that will not want to stay in school, several of them that will want to stay outside the classes, outside the school doing what they want against our normal expectations. We cannot but come across teachers who will not comply, some will go to school late, some will not want to come to school at all, some will want to leave the school even when they are not supposed to leave the school. These are issues that we have to combat and confront head on. Aside from that one, what about record keeping? Teachers that do not want to keep records, they don’t want to write lesson note, and some of them will not want to teach the students, these are the things you must enforce and in the process you cannot but come across some who will prove stubborn and when you come across one or two of those, you have to handle them, to make them do the needful. We cannot but treat them the way they should be treated so that the right thing should be done. These are the normal challenges we come across. But thank God none has been able to override us, God has given us the grace to at least be in charge and to the glory of God l want to say l have  never experienced anything that is beyond my capacity, God is on my side. Another thing is that if you do what is right, you fear nobody. When you want to do what is right you don’t have to fear anybody. And we have government on our side, and we want to thank our governor, His Excellency, Engr. Seyi Makinde, he is a God-sent governor, that God has given to us in Oyo state. He pronounced free and qualitative education and enacted it, and he said we should bring back out-of-school children. He said we should ensure we teach them well so that they pass very well. Also, he pays our salaries every 25th, promotion is going on, even more than before, so what else! We don’t have any excuse not to do well, so, there is nothing l am doing now God has not really helped me to overcome and l want to give God the glory, so, thank you for that.

Pastor and Mrs. Suulola

What advice do you have for teachers and student?

Whatever your hand finds doing do it well. There are three major things to make it in life – hardwork, discipline and punctuality. Another is godliness. These are very important. They are called values. In my course of growing up, l realized that one has to be up and doing in whatever you find yourself doing. Diligence, you must be hardworking – if you are a student you must read meticulously, you must go to class, write your note, attend to your assignments, read your note, practice past questions and pass your exams very well. As a teacher, one is expected to engage in continuous reading and learning, so that you will be able to impart knowledge positively and as many of these students you can help the earlier you do that the better. So, hardwork please.  So, my advice for anybody anywhere be it teacher or student is to be up and doing. They should not be dancing around like a lazy drone. They should not be slothful and idle. Two, discipline, self discipline! No matter how hardworking you are, if you don’t have self discipline, it would be a waste. Whoever lacks discipline will be given to many vices. Learn to do the right thing at the right time. Then, punctuality. Be at your place of work, where you are going to be at the right time. If you see anybody that is always at his place of work at the right time, doing the needful, that person is on the path of success, on the path of moving from one higher ground to another. So, hardwork, discipline and punctuality if you are talking of successful students in the future. So, those core values are my advice. And lastly, godliness. You must be godly, if you are godly, apart from having a future you will make heaven.


You are retiring sir, do you have any regrets?

I wish l am a principal again but it’s already late, l can’t become a principal again. I have gone beyond that level but sometimes when l go back to schools and l see principals handling schools carelessly, handling schools without passion handling schools without serious interest and zeal to ensure that the children are well taught I do feel bad, l wish l had the opportunity of going back as principal. That is the only regret

Thank you for your time sir, lastly, how is preparation for your retirement unfolding?

We thank God. On the day of my retirement many of my ex-students will come, a lot of them are big boys and big girls now, in good places, some ministers, some commissioners, engineers, doctors, lawyers, all over the country and some are coming from outside the country to come and witness the programme, they will all be around me, that is the joy of a teacher, seeing your ex-students coming back to give back to you. I don’t really regret anything aside if l have my way l will be principal again.g?.?  s? d?.y??d?.f.n.ents.ill be principal again.

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