OSUN EDUCATION REFORMS: Sharing The Big Picture
A conducive physical atmosphere aids learning. The State is revamping public school infrastructure by building new school structures to reflect the recommendations of the Osun Education Summit. It is a radical idea to provide the best in terms of infrastructural facilities for the schools.
Elementary, Middle and High Schools are currently being built across the 30 Local Government Areas in the State. They are state of the art schools with dinning halls, potable water supply system with standard toilets facilities, library, recreation centre and computer laboratory.
Dilapidated school structures that pose dangers to pupils have been pulled down and blocks of classroom in some primary schools are to be built to provide more space for the projected school enrollment. The school infrastructure project has a great deal of local content component as materials and artisans are being sourced locally for the growth of the state economy.
Model Elementary School
The need to provide world class learning environment necessitates the on-going building of Model Elementary School at Isale Agbara in Osogbo and 9 other locations across the State. This is a state-of-the-art structure that will accommodate 900 pupils, with recreational facilities, library and computer laboratory. It is a neighbourhood school for pupils of ages 6-9, in the first grade to the fourth grade that is the present primaries one to four.
Under the first phase, a total of about 50 of these structures are to be constructed across the State. The present government is committed to building over 100 of these elementary schools.
Model Middle School
In a similar fashion, government is presently building 14 Middle Schools across the State of Osun. One of these is the Middle School at Alekuwodo, Osogbo, completed, furnished and ready for use. It is also a-state-of-the-art structure with accommodation provision for 900-1000 students.
The Middle school is for the fifth to the ninth grade which is the present primaries 5-6 and the Junior Secondary School (JSS 1 – III) in the age ranges of 10-14 years.
These Middle Schools will be replete with all infrastructural facilities suited for the age range of the students as well as teachers. Government is committed to build 50 of such schools disturbed across the State.
Model High School
Students in the high schools are within the age bracket of 15 to 17 years. This category is currently known as SSS 1-3 but will henceforth be known as Grades 10-12. The infrastructural facilities have been designed to accommodate 3000 students. Other facilities in consonance with international academic standard will include a standard football pitch, recreational facilities, laboratories, libraries, food court and examination hall to sit a minimum of 1000 students. Academic activities would run from 8am – 5pm.
Private investors would be encouraged to build students’ hostels and staff quarters on agreeable terms and conditions. The high schools would be sited on the premises of old schools with large grounds of not less than 10 hectares.
Construction work on a High School model is currently going on in Ejigbo while contract for additional 10 were recently awarded in various locations across the State. Government is committed to build a total of 20 High Schools in the first phase.
Enormous opportunities abound in this school infrastructure revamp programme. A total of N30 billion is projected to be spent under this programme. Aside from the unquantifiable benefits to the students and teachers, the commercial and socio-economic benefits to the State are unprecedented. Local content is being embedded in the project.
A great deal of local artisans such as bricklayers, iron benders, and labour are being engaged under the O-SCHOOL initiative. Materials are being sourced locally and a number of sand suppliers, wood suppliers and local contractors are also partaking in the programme.
In a similar vein, capacity building and enhancement training workshop was organised by the O-SCHOOL Committee for 300 painters with the aim of equipping and engaging them to provide standard services for the need of this laudable education project. Certificate of participation were also issued to the participants.
The aesthetic value the project is adding to the State cannot also be wished aside. Beautiful and standard structures are springing up all over the State.
Let us give progress and change a chance.
Osun a dara!