Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has commissioned new school facilities in Lagos, just as he has directed school authorities across the State to ensure bullying and cultism become a phenomenon of the past in their various schools.
The Governor who gave the directives following the recent case of the alleged cult attack on a 12-year-old student of Dowen College, in Lekki Lagos, Sylvester Oromomi, which led to his death, called on students to ensure they desist from any despicable act reflecting bullying.
Sanwo-Olu who sympathise with the family of the late Dowen College student, Oromoni, said his Administration would do everything within the Government’s power to ensure that all those involved in the unfortunate incident are duly prosecuted and justice is fully served.
Charging teachers, Governor Sanwo-Olu who spoke at the official commissioning of a modern block of classrooms and hostels at the Lagos State Model College, Igbokuta, Imota Local Council Development Area, Ikorudu, on Friday, said teachers owe the duty to listen to challenges of students to get appropriate information for timely intervention needed to address issues of concern.
“I must make it clear that bullying will not be condoned in any of the private or public schools in Lagos State,” he said.
Speaking to students, he said: “I do not want to have students that would be condoning bullying or cultism. You have to denounce and stay away from these kinds of acts,” he said, charging them to always speak out.
“Going forward in all of our schools, we need to eradicate bullying to the nearest minimum. We must ensure seniour students are not bullying the juniour ones; they are not sending them on false errands, not subjecting them to hardship and the juniour ones are giving the seniour ones the due respect they deserve so that you all can live in harmony.
“In line with our policy of ‘if you see something, say something’, cases of bullying in schools must be promptly reported to the school administrators, and they are obligated to act swiftly and responsibly.
“I want to encourage you teachers, listen to what your students are telling you so that they can tell you the big ones when it affects them. Listen to the little stories; listen to their yearnings. It is only when you encourage them that they would tell you what is disturbing them.
“I want to assure you, if you continue to do this, I would not only continue to make your studying and learning environment the best that you can get, but I will ensure your teachers have all it takes to continue to give you the best in education,” he charged the students.
The new projects commissioned on Friday comprise of a Female Hostel for juniour girls students containing no less than 182 bed capacity, house mistress quarters, 12-Classroom Block and other Facilities.
The hostel was built with an upper compartment for a reading room for students to study after school hours and at the lower floor, is a Laundromat for the students to do their laundry.
On the projects commissioned, Sanwo-Olu said: “It’s indeed a great pleasure that we are here to hand over this project to you today. This project is a reflection of our continued Administration’s dedication to quality and equitable education in all of our schools and our unwavering commitment to the provisions of conducive environment for learning and teaching in all of our schools.
“These projects reflect our Administration’s continued dedication to quality and equitable education and our unwavering commitment to the provision of a conducive learning and teaching environment.
“As you all know, education is a core pillar of our T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda and one of the major tools that we are using to change the face of Lagos.
“We are building world-class schools and equipping our students with the requisite knowledge and skills needed to compete globally.
“Today’s ceremony clearly demonstrates our promise to give our students the best in terms of quality education and excellent infrastructure.
“I am happy to inform you that our investment and interventions in our schools have been yielding positive results. We measure the success of our educational policies and programs by improved students’ performance in examinations and national/ international competitions, improved morals, etiquette, and confidence in public speaking.”
He implored the staff and students of the school to take ownership of the projects and judiciously utilise them.
Mentioning that the 2021 budget of N139billion for Education has been upscaled by over 22 percent with an estimated sum of about N171billion (12.6 percent) proposed in the 2022 budget – a figure only second to the estimate for infrastructures, he said his Administration would not relent from paying special attention to the education sector.
Mentioning that in less than three years, about 1,097 projects in 970 schools across the State were executed, with construction and rehabilitation of 322 dilapidated public schools, 87,000 dual composite units of furniture supplied to schools, he said the Government will continue to build, rehabilitate, and equip schools in the State as necessary
“We are not just talking it; in education we want to ensure we touch all our schools and touch all of your lives as students, because education is the most singular thing that can make you compete globally tomorrow,” he said.
He mentioned that the teachers’ award scheme which saw 12 teachers gifted in 2021 with car prizes, would be upscaled in 2022 to accommodate more teachers.
Meanwhile, Governor Sanwo-Olu who also took an inspection tour of the 32 metric tonnes per hour Imota Rice Mill which neighbours the School, said upon completion and operation by the first quarter of 2022, the school would benefit free monthly rice provisions from the Mill.
Upon completion, the Rice Mill which would be the biggest in Nigeria, is designed to comprise 16 silos with combined capacity of 40,000 metric tonnes.
Governor Sanwo-Olu who said COVID-19 slowed the pace of the project, assured that construction would be fastened for operation to commence at the end of the first quarter of 2022 – a development he said would largely reduce the pressure of rice demands in the Lagos.
In her remarks, the Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo described the development as an auspicious “evidence of another promise delivered by our Governor.”
According to her, the new facilities “will make teaching and learning conducive for students and their teachers.”
“The new look structure of this school is bound to increase enrolment of students in this catchment area and help them develop their potentials.
“There is so much more that we can talk about and the whole of the Education Family cannot thank Mr. Governor enough for his commitment to building an education sector that we all can be proud of.
“When he came into office, our Governor made promises to the State and to the Education Sector in particular: the State would deliberately focus on Education as a major pillar in the THEMES Agenda, ensure yearly increase in budgetary allocation; complete all outstanding projects to the highest possible standards; invest in new schools, rehabilitate and upgrade existing schools as well as integrate technology into teaching and learning.”
“Ultimately, the Governor’s main purpose is to ensure that all students in Lagos State receive quality education in a conducive environment.
“It is indeed wonderful to see that these promises are being kept. In less than 3 years, the State has met every one of these promises to a significant extent,” she said.