Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO) has delivered an intervention that will bolster education in the underserved Ogombo community, Eti Osa area of Lagos State.
The Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) led by the wife of the Governor, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, built the first senior secondary school in the community to address the plight of deprived pupils, who had to trek long distances from their homes to senior secondary schools in neighbouring towns.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday, inaugurated the fully equipped three-floor structure completed with 15 ultra-modern classrooms and 30 water system toilets.
The school was built by COWLSO in partnership with the State Special Committee on Rehabilitation of Public Schools (SCRPS) to support the academic output of the existing Ogombo Junior Grammar School.
The school was designed with state-of-the-art libraries, laboratories, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) department, offices for teaching and management staff, as well as equipped sick bay.
Following the inauguration of the edifice, COWLSO handed over the school to the State Government for operation and administration.
It was all excitement for parents, teachers, pupils and traditional chiefs in the community, who trooped out in their numbers to mark the project’s commissioning.
The initiative allows for a seamless progression of pupils from junior to senior secondary school within the same environment, thereby eliminating the inconvenience of pupils of Ogombo community undertaking long journey to schools in neighbouring communities.
Governor Sanwo-Olu described the intervention as “outstanding”, noting that the project would bolster his administration’s drive to improve access to education and raise the bar of academic excellence in the State.
He said COWLSO had continued to be a dependable partner in actualising the vision of the State Government in Education and Technology – one of the pillars of his administration’s T.H.E.M.E.S Plus Agenda.
The Governor said: “Since 2000 when Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials was resuscitated by Her Excellency, Mrs Oluremi Tinubu, who is now the First Lady of Nigeria, the body has played and continues to play a vital and complementary role to the efforts of the State Government. This is evident through its several initiatives that directly impact the lives of children, women, the elderly, the youth, the physically challenged and the less privileged. COWLSO’s initiatives, which cut across various sectors, have contributed to the growth and development of Lagos over the past two decades.
“The commissioning of this purpose built 15-classroom block is another success story in the efforts of our administration to provide sustainable infrastructure for effective learning and teaching in a conducive environment. This school project, comprising three floors, was designed in compliance with global standards and our administration’s policy thrust of not leaving anyone behind. Lagos State Government is grateful for this intervention by COWLSO. I extend our appreciation to the leadership and members of this noble association, past and present.”
Sanwo-Olu restated his commitment to providing modern infrastructure in public schools, pointing out that SCRPS and other intervention MDAs had not relented in the construction of new school blocks and classrooms across communities in need.
The Governor disclosed that eight new school projects were awaiting commissioning at Ipaja Junior College, Isale Ilu Majiyagbe in Ipaja; Oriokuta Junior Secondary School in Ikorodu; Thogli Community Grammar School in Badagry; and Ilupeju Junior Grammar School in Oshodi.
His administration, he said, will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that public schools have quality facilities that would inspire excellent output by students and teachers in the State.
“In addition to the improved facilities, we are also equipping our teachers with modern methods and skills for better performance and greater job satisfaction. This we are undertaking under the EKO EXCEL programme. All these will go a long way in preparing our children for a future driven by knowledge and innovation, and help to actualise the vision of a Greater Lagos,” Sanwo-Olu said.
The First Lady said the COWLSO’s intervention was driven by its passion to support development programmes of the State Government in disadvantaged areas, stressing that the Ogombo school project was informed by the need to address amenities shortfall in the community.
Dr. Sanwo-Olu said COWLSO swung into action to commence construction of the school in December 2021, following the discovery of shortage of education facilities in Ogombo town. She said COWLSO provided the intervention in line with its founding objectives and to fulfil its pledge to the community.
The First Lady said the school project underscored the essence of inclusion in the Government’s T.H.E.M.E.S Plus Agenda, as it was designed with ramps from ground floor to the topmost floor to aid the movement of children and staff living with disabilities.
She said: “After the discovery of the challenges and moved by the plight of the deprived pupils, COWLSO swiftly intervened by embarking on this building project in line with the founding objectives of the Committee to impact lives positively and contribute immensely to the political and socioeconomic development of Lagos. To the Glory of God, the construction of the magnificent edifice was completed within 12 months.
“Our gratitude goes to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for his keen interest and unflinching support since the inception of this project. This administration has greatly uplifted our efforts, particularly in the area of promoting child healthcare and education, empowering and generally improving the welfare of Lagosians. This project will enhance access to education for children in the community. It is my hope that all stakeholders in Ogombo Kingdom will be committed to the sustainability, marketability and maintenance of this school.”
The project supervisor and wife of the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Oluremi Hamzat, said the school was built on 88 piles at a depth of 18m with 66 pile caps.
The facility, Mrs Hamzat disclosed, also has toilet provision for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) on all floors.
Member representing Eti Osa Constituency 1 in the House of Assembly, Hon. Noheem Adams, conveyed the town’s appreciation to COWLSO and the State Government for the intervention, promising that the project would be sustained.
The high point was the cultural performance organised by pupils of the benefitting community in showing appreciation to COWLSO and the State Government for the intervention.