Chief Samuel Kolawole Babalola (OFR) was born on the 3rd of February, 1931 into the Amilede ruling house of Olupoti in Ipoti-Ekiti, Ekiti State. A seasoned and well-known educationalist who served in various capacities as a classroom teacher, Head of Department and Principal in Secondary Schools.
His passion for teaching and the welfare of teachers later led him to work for the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) as Assistant Secretary and rose to become full-time General Secretary of the NUT from 1976-1979. As General Secretary of the NUT he coordinated the following the merging of the Northern Teachers Association with the Nigeria Union of Teachers in 19762.
The Harmonization of the Teachers’ Condition of Service in Voluntary Agency Primary & Secondary Institutions with those in Government Schools in Nigeria, introduction of in-Service Training Programme on the job for Teachers in Voluntary Agency Institutions throughout Nigeria.
On the political scene, Chief S.K Babalola was appointed Western State Commissioner for Health by the then Military Administration. In this capacity, he introduced the Health Management Board in Western State in 1975. It was the first of its kind in Nigeria. This has been adopted by all the states in the Country.
Chief S.K Babaloa was elected into the Ondo State House of Assembly when the state was created. He became the first Chief Whip of the House 1979-1981. He was appointed Ondo State Commissioner for Education in 1983.Chief S.K Babalola was appointed Special, Adviser on Education and National Ethics to President Olusegun Obasanjo between 1999 and 2003.
As Special Adviser to the President on Education, he coordinated the introduction of President’s Inter-Secondary School Debate among Unity Schools in Nigeria, facilitation of the Reinstatement of Politically Victimized Students and Staff in Nigeria’s Institutions of Higher Learning, Monitoring of the control and eradication of Cultism in Nigeria’s institutions of Higher Learning.
Holding of National Ethics workshops to awaken and re-orientate Nigerians on the place of our National ethics of discipline, Integrity, dignity of labour, social justice, religious tolerance, self-reliance and patriotism etc.8.Introduction and entrenchment of Open and Distance Learning into the National Policy of Education in Nigeria. The effort was the precursor of the National Open University of Nigeria. (NOUN).
Chief S.K Babalola is a recipient of various Awards at home and abroad which includes a fellow of the British College of Preceptors (FCP) at the Institute of Education, University of London in 1978. He was also a recipient of the prestigious National Merit Award, The Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (OFR).
He is survived by Children and grandchildren.