As part of continual efforts to improve the quality of teaching and learning outcomes in public and private schools, the Lagos State Government recently released the year 2020-2023 approved list of books for public and private schools across the State.
The Iyaloja Playbook authored by the publisher and editor of Lagos Panorama, Tayo Aderinola has been enlisted in the Lagos State Secondary School reading lists for JSS 3 Literature in English, Drama for 2021/2022 academic session.
Earlier this month, in an official statement, the state’s Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo revealed that books played a very significant role in the acquisition of quality education, as they are indispensable tools to both the teacher and the student, thereby concerted efforts were made by the Ministry to ensure the release of a unified booklist for all classes.
Mrs. Adefisayo added that with the proliferation of books in the education sector, there is need to scrutinize and select value-adding textbooks that would be circulated in schools across the State; thereby eliminating those that are substandard in content and unsuitable for Student’s consumption.
The Commissioner averred that the Lagos State Ministry of Education through its Curriculum Services Department conducts review of books triennially (every three years), tagged “Major Book Review” and through this exercise, textbooks submitted by publishers and authors are reviewed and only content rich textbooks written in line with the National Curriculum and Lagos State Unified Schemes of Work are selected to make the booklist, stressing that this would engineer the inculcation of 21st century skills in the learners.
The Iyaloja Playbook published in 2017, the drama book is an academic approach to immortalizing a worthy amazon of Lagos. It is conceived to engender generational transmission of the good virtues of Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji for the youths of today to learn from in an intellectually entertaining manner.
The play does not only tell the story of the kind, compassionate and outspoken market leader and activist, it also portrays the leadership situation of Nigeria. By espousing the achievements of Alhaja Abibatu Asabi Alaba Mogaji during her reign as the Iyaloja-General, the playwright uses his play to teach political and social leadership lessons.
The structure of the play is good and well thought of. It is a three-act play. Act 1 tells the story of Iyaloja from childhood to adulthood before she becomes the Iyaloja General. Act 2 tells her story as an Iyaloja and her exploits, influences and deeds. The writer skillfully brings to fore the political turbulence and crises that rocked Nigeria during this era. Act 3 tells a didactic yet fictional story of Iyaloja Karokatoshe and Chief Arigbabuwo. The Act however does not end at the demise of Chief Arigbabuwo but rather delves into the era of Bola Tinubu as Governor of Lagos State and the final moments of Iyaloja.
The author of the play in his reaction to the enlistment by the Lagos Ministry of Education through the Curriculum Services Department, Aderinola said “honestly, I feel so elated and fulfilled that the Iyaloja Playbook was enlisted after a thorough review that spanned almost a year due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdown”
“The essence of the play is to engender generational transmission of the good virtues of Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji for the youths of today to learn from in an intellectually entertaining manner”.
Aderinola averred that “As a unique piece of literature, the book serves to educate and inform of the late Iyaloja’s contributions to our polity, highlighting moral character and faithfulness as virtues to be inculcated in our youths. Its presentation as a play makes it a great activity book for literature and drama students”.
“We are convinced that this book will significantly impact the reader most especially upcoming generation even as it immortalises the late Iyaloja-General. Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji, an icon and the mother of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, an icon, deserves timeless memorials”.
The play has been critically appraised and adopted as reading and performance material for the 300 Level and Final year classes of the Department of Creative Arts, University of Lagos since 2018.