Ekiti Embarks On Massive Renovation Of School Buildings

September 2, 2012

Olaoluwa Muslim Grammar School, Ado-Ekiti, One of the schools under the ORASE project

Apparently moved by the woes befalling the education sector in Ekiti State coupled with the poor results of students in national examination, Governor Kayode Fayemi recently organised an education summit to address the problems. The summit came up with different recommendations for the basic, secondary and tertiary education.

For the secondary education, the report had identified lack of infrastructure in public schools as one of the factors responsible for the dwindling fortunes. The report noted that most school buildings were dilapidated with no good access roads and functional laboratories and libraries.

To arrest the situation, the summit resolved that the state should undertake renovation of existing structures and perimeter fencing of schools, rehabilitation of access/intra-premises road network, employment of retired, seasoned teachers as neighbourhood inspectors, in-service training, seminars and conferences for school teachers.

Fayemi, known for his passion for education being a scholar recognised internationally, embarked on the implementation of the recommendations to reposition secondary education in the state.

While the employment of neighbourhood inspectors is being implemented, government delayed the rehabilitation of facilities because of the ongoing school calendar. But immediately the school went on vacation in July, 100 out of the 183 schools across the state were placed under the first phase of Operation Renovate All Schools programme.

Under the programme, about N2.2 billion worth of contracts were awarded for the renovation of school building. The contractors were given up till early September to complete them and hand over the buildings to the state government.

As part of the contracts, old and dilapidated buildings that dotted public schools were to be pulled down and new ones put in place to ensure a conducive environment for learning in all public schools in the state. The second phase of the programme is to involve the remaining 83 schools, which will take off after the delivery of the first phase.

To ensure that the projects were completed on time, a Bureau of Special Projects was established in the office of the governor. A Special Adviser, Mr. Bayo Kelekun, heads it.

As a demonstration of his passion for the programme, Dr. Fayemi, has taken it upon himself to personally supervise the rehabilitation works across the 100 schools placed in the first phase of the exercise.

Fayemi, in company of Kelekun, recently undertook an inspection of 37 schools across the state to get firsthand information about how contractors were handling the projects.

He had warned that his administration expected nothing but good jobs, noting that a good environment is sine qua non for excellence in the education sector. This accounted for the careful selection of the contractors to ensure that only those that can deliver within the short time stipulated by the government were picked.

Fayemi, who was at Olaoluwa Muslim Grammar School, could not hide his joy on the new look the school was wearing. He praised the contractor for the good job, stressing that he had bought into the vision of the state government for excellence in the education sector.

At Ilejemeje Community High School, Iye-Ekiti, Fayemi admonished the students to face their studies so that the ongoing projects in the school would not be in vain.

Besides the buildings, the state government has procured 40,000 units of tables and chairs for distribution to schools to usher in a new era of comfort for students. He urged the teachers and head teachers in public schools to imbibe the culture of maintenance to ensure that the infrastructure being provided endured.

 By Ifedayo Sayo

This article was first published in The Guardian on 02 September, 2012. 

Last modified: September 2, 2012

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