By Moses Adeniyi
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has commissioned new infrastructure projects in 15 schools across the State, assuring his government has bigger plans, and better ideas to keep education sector in the State on a working path of virility.
The schools including junior and senior secondary schools, across all six education districts of Lagos State, in which the projects being virtually commissioned on Wednesday exist include Lagos State Junior Model College Meiran Alimisho; Lagos State Baptist Secondary School, Orile-agege; Abesan Senior High School; Orisunbare Senior High School; Luwasa Senior High School, Ijede and Lagos State Girls Junior Model College Agunfoye.
Others are Ojota Junior Secondary School, Ojota; Eva Adelaja Junior Secondary School, Bariga; Muslim Junior College Oworoshoki; Lagos State Model College, Badore; and Lagos State Model College, Agbowa Epe.
Also, is Araromi Ilogbo Junior Secondary School, Oko-afo; Badagry Junior Grammar School, Badagry; Ajumoni Junior Grammar School, Daleko Mushin; and St. Joseph Secondary School, Mushin.
Sanwo-Olu who spoke on Wednesday at the Unveiling of Compendium of Schools Infrastructural Transformation & Virtual Commissioning of New Projects in Lagos Public Schools, said investment in education is cardinal for any government to secure the future of its society.
“From the start, our commitment to education at all levels in Lagos State has never been in doubt. Education and Technology are one of the cardinal points in our THEMES Agenda, as you all know.
“Our focus on education is predicated on several complementary interventions, including physical infrastructure, technology, teacher and student welfare, and the reduction of the number of out-of-school children in the State,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu said one of the more recent and visible highlights of the investment efforts is the fact that the State Universities did not suffer the disruptions occasioned by the recent strike action that affected many other public Universities in the country.
Sanwo-Olu stating that the compendium project dashboard shows 1,047 new classrooms have been constructed under intervention projects of the Special Committee on Rehabilitation of Public Schools (SCRPS), said no less than 181,365 pieces of dual composite furniture, 1,592 new hostel beds in Model Colleges, equipped with laundromat facilities and comfortable Reading have been provided; while 197 schools rehabilitation projects have been executed accommodating 2,280 additional classrooms interventions.
“In addition, we have completed rehabilitation projects in 197 schools – translating to a total of about 2,280 classrooms so far, with associated sanitary facilities, potable water systems, and security infrastructure,” he said.
“We have equally focused on the provision of modern recreational facilities in our schools, to ensure the total development of our students, in line with best practice from around the world.
“We want them to simultaneously learn, play and keep fit, in the best and most conducive environment possible. This is the only way to prepare them for the future.
“In addition, very importantly, we have completed and commissioned a fully-IT-driven school at Vetland Junior, with 3 interactive digital screens and student tablets, to facilitate learning in and out of school,” he added.
He assured that better versions of the state of art standard of the Vetland Junior Grammar School project in Agege would be replicated in all education districts.
According to him, the broad range of intervention projects under SCRPS, inaugurated November 4, 2019, with a mandate to “accelerate and actualise the core vision of revamping schools’ infrastructure” in Lagos was a feat applaudable within a period of three years.
Mentioning that his government is determined to deliver dividends of democracy with proper utilisation of taxes, he said the administration is working continuously to touch every aspect possible by expanding the scale of intervention to schools that have not benefited yet.
“We cannot do everything at once and cannot cover every school in the State within a limited period of time, but rest assured we will continue to expand the scale of our interventions.
“No part of Lagos State has been left out of our interventions, as you will see from the Compendium. We are determined to ensure equitable distribution of the dividends of democracy in Lagos State.
“Since the inauguration of the SCRPS, we have been able to start and complete several new building projects (classrooms, hostels, security infrastructure like fencing and gate-houses, and so on), and supplied new furniture for students and teachers. We have also successfully embarked on several rehabilitation projects.
“To those schools that have not yet benefited, I ask for your patience and understanding,” he said.
He charged schools that have benefited, to use the facilities judiciously and responsibly.
“Shun all forms of vandalism and carelessness and treat these buildings and projects as public goods that must be maintained for future generations,” he said.
According to Sanwo-Olu, the choice of a virtual commissioning of the projects was informed by the need for public accountability and proper management of resources, mentioning that being prudent and putting tax payers’ money into judicious use was pertinent.
In her remarks, the State’s Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, said the feat was another step in the transformation quest for development of schools in the State.
Stating that budgetary allocations under the Governor Sanwo-Olu led Administration has positively tilt towards education, she said above infrastructure, other critical aspects as human resources interventions and programmes have been covered by the Government’s investment. She disclosed that about 7,000 recruitment of teachers have been effected, while teachers’ capacity development, building teachers’ esteem with such motivation as car gift, as well as provisions of working tools, were other aspects touched by the administration.
According to her, a minimum of 17 new schools have been built in suburb communities which have wanted schools.
Mentioning that the administration has leveraged technology “to deploy the credible power of technology to learning and teaching”, the Commissioner disclosed 18,000 new technological devices are underway to be given to JSS 3 students, while three iconic projects are awaiting commissioning.
Adefisayo mentioned that the investment has been a wonderful journey, but yet there were still a lot to be done despite the unprecedented feat, assuring the administration would continue working in the sector, as the efforts would have rewards many years down the line with the legacies.
“We are ready. The reward for hard work is more work, we are ready for this,” Adefisayo said.
Presenting over view of SCRPS projects in Lagos, the Chairman, Special Committee on Rehabilitation of Public Schools (SCRPS), Mr. Hakeem Smith, appreciated the yearly increase in the budgetary allocations to the education sector.
According to him, the intervention projects which spans across the six education districts, all Local Government Areas and Local Council Development Areas of the State have led to improvement of schools with state of the art standards.
In the statistical breakdown, he said the 2,280 classrooms interventions translate that about two classrooms on daily stretch has received attention under the span of the administration so far.
According to him, by the end of the year, the administration would have delivered about 362,000 furniture across schools in the State.
Principal, Orisunbare Senior High School, Ayobo, Alimosho, Adedapo Fagbure said “we are grateful to the Governor for the project he has done,” mentioning that “the project started and were completed in record time.”
Principal, Lagos State Model College, Badore, Mrs. Ajigobi Ajoke, said the students have been encouraged by the unprecedented projects.
Principal, Lagos State Model College, Agbowa-Ikosi, Mrs. Adebanjo Ayoola described Sanwo-Olu as “a super hero and a man of great vision”, which according her informed the great feat.
Appreciating the massive achievements of the Governor, she mentioned that his achievements have been all encompassing, “no sector left behind.”