Chinyere Anyanwu and Vivian Onyebukwa
The Rotary Club of Tin Can Island, District 9110, has renovated a block of six classrooms at Alakoto Nursery and Primary School in Ajeromi Ifelodun Local Government Area of Lagos State.
President of the district, Ifediba Chukwudi, during his installation as the 35th president of the club for the 2018/2019 Rotary Year, highlighted his planned projects. These included the rehabilitation of the block of six classrooms at Alakoto Nursery and Primary School, Apapa, at the cost of N2 million.
True to his words, he has made the proposed project a reality before the end of his tenure this year. Ifediba lamented the deplorable condition of the school, wondering how the students could have been studying under such terrible condition. He said that was the reason the club invited some government officials to the event to see the number of dilapidated structures in the school still needing urgent attention. He, therefore, urged the incoming club president, who he said would surpass his performance record, to begin early to think of what to do for the club.
At the commissioning of the renovated building, immediate past president, Charles Ezenwanne, commended the president for making him and the club proud while thanking the members for their financial contributions, which made the project possible.
Ezenwanne, however, expressed dissatisfaction over government’s neglect of its responsibility to the citizens, especially in the education sector.
“They have millions to share among themselves but it does not get to the grassroots. We are not happy with the government. The toilet is smelling. The children can contact diseases from such environment. These children are our leaders of tomorrow and we are not giving them a level playing ground. The classrooms are nothing to write home about. It is a challenge to the government.»
He urged the students to have more passion for the school.
Head Teacher of the school, Mrs. Bertha Nwoye, stated that the building, until its renovation, was appalling. The children have been learning inside the rain until Mr. Imoh, an old student and a member of Tin Can Rotary Club, drew the attention of the club to the school, which eventually brought the good gesture.
She expressed gratitude to the club, and urged the members to always come to their aid as there are still more projects to be done in the school.
Education Secretary, Solomon Ademofe, said the Lagos State government had been planning with SUBEB to do something concerning the renovation of the school. He said with the intervention of Rotary Club, the burden had been taken off the state. He expressed gratitude to the club and encouraged others to emulate such laudable gesture.
Director of Education/Principal, Gaskiya Senior College as well as Chairman, AJIF ANCOPSS, who represented the TG/PS, Agboju, Mrs Adenike Adekanye-Oye, also commended the club for the project.
“What you have done here has improved the learning environment of this school and the children will ever be grateful for this. This facility should be used diligently in order to sustain it,” he said, noting that there are many schools in the area that are also begging for such attention.
All through the programme, the toilet facility was oozing out offensive odour. The reporter gathered that the only functional toilet in the school, which was in a poor hygienic condition, was being used by about 350 pupils.
It was this situation that prompted a member of the club, Chima Odor, to make donations towards the maintenance of the school’s toilet facilities. Odor promised to provide toiletries to clean the children’s toilet for two months.
“I feel for these kids. I am doing it because I love giving and it is good to give. The system is not healthy for the children. Teachers, make sure you use what is donated to the children for their good. Please, don’t take them home,” he appealed, urging that the items provided should be used for the comfort of teachers and pupils.
In his response, a pupil of the school, Alphonsus Clinton, expressed gratitude to the club on behalf of his colleagues. “We are overwhelmed by this tremendous transformation in our school. Rotary Club has really touched the hearts of these pupils by giving our school a facelift and giving us conducive classrooms for learning. We are very grateful,” he stated.