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FACT CHECK: Did king Abolarin of Oke-Ila build a tuition-free school for indigent students?



Nigerian King Built School with No School Fees, Free Hostel, Free Food, and Even Teaches There

True. The King of Òkè-ìlá with title Òràngún Òkè-ìlá, Adedokun Omoniyi Abolarin founded a free boarding school in his town in 2014 where only indigent brilliant students that scale through the secondary school entrance examination are admitted to enjoy the free education.

False. Each student is not allocated a personal laptop but has access to a computer lab, and the king does not teach there everyday.

Full Text

A message is sent across WhatsApp of a Nigerian King who provided free education in his town.

The message reads;
“Nigerian King Built School with No School Fees, Free Hostel, Free Food, and Even Teaches There”

“At Abolarin College in Oke-Ila, Osun State, the students there pay NO school fees; enjoy free hostel, free food, free internet, free uniform, free laptop for every child, and 24 hours power supply; and all these expenses are paid by the town’s king. What is the most shocking is that the king teaches too in the school.

“What makes this school remarkable is that one major criteria for getting admitted in is being poor. If your parents are rich, you cannot get admission. Unlike other schools, Abolarin College wants poor kids who are very brilliant. If you are poor but brilliant, the king will admit you!

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“The king believes poor brilliant kids should also be given an equal opportunity to become something in life- so that the future does not belong only to those born with silver spoons in their mouth. The king himself has a law degree and masters in law- and he also teaches in the school.”



Ripples Nigeria can confirm that the school was founded by the traditional ruler in 2014 and is still in existence.

Our Correspondent travelled to the town of Òkè-ìlá on Monday 18 October, 2021 which also coincided with the resumption date for new JSS1 students of the school.

We can also confirm that the school has boarding facilities which provide indigent students free accommodation, including three square meals daily when the school is in session.

Contrary to the distributed WhatsApp message, the school does not give every child a laptop of their own, but has a computer lab for any student to practice, and a standby generator for backup, although the town enjoys a fair share of power supply.

Admission into the school is not limited to indigent students of the community but extended to any poor family from any part of the country.

Ripples Nigeria can confirm that aside basic needs already provided by the school, each student also submits a list of personal needs which is either acquired for them by the king, or the money value given to them.

Also contrary to the WhatsApp post, though the king has teaching experience from the former Oyo State College of Arts and Science (OSCAS), Ile-Ife and St Andrew College of Education, Oyo he does not attend the school to teach any subject daily.

Chief Adeniyi Fawole, Obaale of Òkè-ìlá, one of the king’s chieftain is the principal of the tuition free school and despite his position, his son is not admitted in the school as he is not considered a poor person.

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