By Ezra Odogu
There will be no more long-distance trek from home to school for Junior Secondary School pupils in Elemoro community in Ibeju Lekki Local Government Area of Lagos State.
A state-of-the-art school edifice has been handed over to the community by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu. Also built in the school premises is a college-size football pitch completed with 50mm-thick pile of grass and soft infills to ensure playability and fall absorption impact.
Built on 1.54 hectares of land, the imposing 18-classroom Elemoro Community Junior Secondary School was designed to offer learning services, recreational activity and extracurricular leisure.
The project, conceived by the Sanwo-Olu administration, was initiated as an intervention to address a shortfall in access to education in the community. Before the school was built, pupils in the town usually trekked a long distance to schools located outside the community.
Inaugurating the school built behind Area J Police Command in Elemoro, the Governor said the project was dear to his heart, as its delivery demonstrated fulfillment of his campaign pledge to Oke Odo-Elemoro-Iwerekun community.
Sanwo-Olu praised the town’s traditional ruler, Oba Tajudeen Elemoro, for freely donating the land on which the education projects are built. The Governor said his administration prioritised provision of infrastructure in education in recognition of the nexus between knowledge and development.
He said: “This newly constructed educational facility is a project that is dear to my heart and has made me extremely pleased, because it is a fulfilment of my promise to provide the Okeodo-Elemoro-Iwerekun community with a secondary school. What is more pleasing to me today is that, with the commissioning of this school, many children in this locality will now have access to quality secondary education.
“The infrastructure installed in the premises offers the platform through which the pupils can fulfill their dreams and ambitions for the future without having to travel kilometres to another community for secondary education. Our administration’s approach to constructing new schools, rehabilitating and revamping existing ones is all-encompassing; it makes a statement that we are taking the issue of security in our public schools very seriously.”
Aside the 18-classroom block, the school also has 12 standard classrooms, six special rooms for Home Economics, Technology, a studio for arts and music, science laboratory, library and ICT room. It also has teachers’ offices, sickbay, standard canteen block and over 30 toilet facilities.
Other recreational facilities built in the school include a six-lane sandwich athletics running track and a spacious seating arena.
Sanwo-Olu disclosed the State Government’s plans to build the senior secondary arm of the school in complementing the junior school. He said his administration’s vision in education was to ensure every child in public schools had unrestricted access to quality education. The obligation, he said, is being fulfilled with the infrastructure being delivered across schools.
The Governor reiterated his administration’s zero tolerance for bullying and organised intimidation in schools. He urged teachers and administrators to dedicate more time to students and give them listening ears.
He said: “To the children of Elemoro Community who will be resuming in this school next academic term, I want to congratulate you for the great opportunity this modern facility will provide to enable you achieve your dreams. The only way you can show your appreciation for this effort is to take your studies seriously and aim for excellent performance in your academics.”
Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, emphasised the importance of modern infrastructure to the delivery of quality education, stressing that access to conducive facilities would aid pupils realise their full potential.
Adefisayo praised Sanwo-Olu’s passion and sustained commitment to the provision of world-class infrastructure in public schools, describing the gesture as “exemplary”.
Special Committee for the Rehabilitation of Public Schools in Lagos State (SCRPS) supervised the construction of the school and ancillary facilities.
Inaugural football match and a gymnastic display by pupils preceded the formal commissioning of the school by the Governor.