By Bimbola Oyesola
The Women in the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (WIP) has called for more stakeholders engagement in the education sector.
Speaking at the programme tagged “Back to school project” organised for pupils at Community Primary School, Odo-Nla, Ikorodu, Lagos State, the chairperson WIP, Lagos Zone, Nikki Duru, said there was the need for urgent stakeholder involvement in the educational sector as it has proven that government cannot carry the burden of education all alone.
She urged government to pump in more money into the sector, look into the needs of teachers, provide conducive classrooms and infrastructure and also engage stakeholders in the sector in order to have schools that would be competitive when compared to others in rest of the world.
“There are so many reasons why the education system in Nigeria is the way it is, but there is need for an intentional and deliberate efforts by government to look critically into the challenges rocking the sector and find a lasting solution to it,” she said.
She explained that the project started in 2017, adding that it is the association’s way of touching lives and restoring hope to pupils of schools where they realized actually need support.
She added that it is an opportunity also to talk to children that there is still hope for them in this country, as there are still people who think about them and also ready to assist them in fulfilling their dreams and purpose in life.
Duru noted that that it is clear that the economy is bleeding, inflation rate going higher not only in Nigeria, but globally, maintaining that coming to the school to give the children the little they have, talk to them to re-assure them that their is still hope for them in the country will go a long way in restoring hope and aspiration to them.
“You don’t give because you have, you give because you care, money is never enough, time is never enough, nothing is ever enough, but if you keep waiting until you have to give, you will never give “
“So it is a way of encouraging other people, Unions and organisations to see what we are doing and key into it in their own way,” she stated.
The Chairperson said PENGASSAN believe in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), as government is doing all they can and individuals also need to support them in their strive to make the education sector a haven where best brains are churn out.
She lamented about the poor state of the classrooms as three children have to sit on a seat that can only accommodate a child comfortably.
She pledged that the union will provide furniture for the school, give scholarship to some pupils and also it would not be a one off visit but a continuous relationship.
According to her, WIP has initiated what she called, “a cradle to career initiative” that will train a child from primary school up to the university, as that is one of its long term aspirations.
She urged those who are holding lots of money to release some in order to benefit the lives of the less privilege in the society.
WIP provided note books, Maths Set, toiletries, pencils, pens, lunch packs and other items for the benefits of the school.
It equally awarded gifts to pupils from Primary 1 to 6 who were outstanding in their performances in the last academic year. The award for best teachers were given to Mr. Odupolu Odugbemiga and Mrs Margaret Akinsulire respectively with iPad and cash gifts. The security personnel of the school were not left out as they were given cash gifts for their dedication to duties.
The Head Teacher, Community Primary School, Odo-Nla, Ikorodu, Mrs Adenike Ogunbekun commended the initiative of the Association, stating that there will be a positive change in the sector if other bodies and organisations toll the laudable footstep of WIP.
Ogunbekun said all the materials provided by WIP met the need of the school and the pupils, as there are still some children who come to school without writing materials due to lack of funds by their parents.
“We plead with PENGASSAN and other bodies to come to our aid in building a more convenient classrooms, furniture, marker board and sports equipment,” she said.