Source Babatunde Adegunju
It was a moment of joy and excitement last Friday as the pupils and teachers of Community Nursery/Primary School in Magodo, Shangisha area of Lagos State welcomed eminent personalities to their midst during the commissioning and handing over of Seven (7) Blocks of 2 & 3 Classrooms (fully furnished with toilets) to the Lagos State Government by the lawmaker representing Lagos East Senatorial District, Senator ‘Gbenga Ashafa.
The pupils trooped out en-masse from their various classrooms to receive the lawmaker and the Lagos state commissioner for Education, Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye, who was accompanied by Tutor Generals/ Permanent Secretaries,Education Secretaries, head teachers of Primary Schools and other stakeholders in the education sector from various local government areas ?in the state.
The school is one of the seven beneficiaries of the classroom constituency projects being facilitated by the lawmaker in his district. Other beneficiary schools include: a Block of 2 Classrooms with Dining Room and a VIP Toilet at Ajelogo Primary School, Akinola Close, Agboyi Ketu L.C.D.A.; A Block of 3 Classrooms at Salvation Army Primary School, Tumoja, Ikorodu Central Local Government.; A Block of 3 Classrooms at Roman Catholic Mission (RCM) Primary School, Odomola, Eredo L.C.D.A.; A Block of 3 Classrooms at Oke-Meta Primary School, Bajulaiye Road, Somolu, Somolu Local Government Area.; A Block of 3 Classrooms at Lekki Primary School, Beside Oba Oni-Lekki of Lekki’s palace, Lekki L.C.D.A.; A Block of 2 Classrooms with Dining Room and a VIP Toilet at the Proposed Elemoro Primary School, Oba Tajudeen Elemoro Street, Behind Area J Police Command, Ibeju-Lekki.
While giving his opening remarks at the event, the lawmaker said that “in order to ensure proper upbringing and excellence performance of our children in schools, especially at the foundation of learning, it is a must as a government, to provide them among other things, with conducive learning environment”.
The audience who were listening with rapt attention was taken aback when Senator Ashafa said there were plans by some wealthy people in the state to convert part of the land of Community Primary School for residential purposes during his tenure as Executive Secretary in Lagos Lands Bureau.
He said: ?I resisted the move to divide the school compound because doing so would have made the pupils to learn in confinement. I never knew I would be a senator today; I never knew I would facilitate a classroom project in this school. If I had succumbed to pressure, this new block of classrooms would not have had space to be sited.?
Ashafa, a seasoned administrator, urged the parents and guardians at the event to complement the efforts of the government by making sure that their wards are given the best assistance they deserve to do well in their studies and as well as the beneficiary schools to make use of the blocks of classrooms maximally.
He said “I want to use this medium to advise all our wonderful parents and guardians to stop the act of using our promising children for street trading as this often exposes them to danger and can also lead to lack of concentration in their studies.”
In her keynote address, the Lagos state honourable commissioner for education, Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye said the lawmaker?s resolve to choose primary education as an area of support for Governor Babatunde Fashola?s effort to improve standard of education was a wise choice, noting that primary education is the foundation for societal progress.
She said: ?The state government under Governor Babatunde Fashola is proud of the activities of our distinguished senator, which are geared towards improving on the standard we have put in place in Lagos. We will continue to invest in the future of our children by providing modern classrooms and curriculum. We welcome support such as what Senator Ashafa is doing from well-meaning people to improve on what we have done.?
She said the Lagos State Ministry of Education would continue to appreciate the lawmaker?s gesture, promising that the facilities would be put into good use.
In her response, the chairman of Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Alhaja Gbolahan Daodu, who noted that there are 1,700 primary schools in Lagos, urged other elected officials to emulate Ashafa?s gesture.
“Senator Ashafa has always been there for SUBEB at all time, this is another gesture that will surely improve the standard of our primary schools in the state, I urge all our politicians to also contribute their own quota too to make our Primary Schools in Lagos second to none.” She said.
The facilities in some of the classrooms include dining rooms, water-system lavatories, well furnished Chairs and Tables, marker boards and VIP toilets.
Among other dignitaries that also graced the occasion were the traditional ruler of the area, the Onikosi of Ikosi, HRM Oba Samuel Onikosi, the executive chairman of Ikosi- Ish