By BENJAMIN OMOIKE
Lagos State Government has unveiled a set of technology-driven modular learning spaces, introducing an innovation to the design of a modern classroom.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday, commissioned a nine-classroom block built to replace decrepit concrete structures in Vetland Junior Grammar School, a Government-owned model college in Agege Local Government Area.
The interactive modular classrooms were improvised using standardised reusable freight compartments, known as container. Each of the classroom compartment is adequately-insulated to give comfort and create a conducive ambience for hybrid learning for children in the public secondary school.
The project is completed with three laboratories and four staff rooms – all made from container. There are also recreational facilities, including a five-aside football pitch, a multi-purpose-built court, which can be used for a variety of games, such as volleyball, long tennis, badminton, and basketball.
The classrooms and their ancillary facilities have their dedicated energy source, off grid; they are powered by solar panels, which guarantee constant power supply to enable teaching and learning.
The entire project was conceived and delivered by Special Committee on Rehabilitation of Public Schools (SCRPS) set up in 2019 by the Governor to implement interventions designed to improve access to basic education.
Sanwo-Olu, at another event held in the State House, Alausa, rewarded 13 outstanding teachers selected across the six education districts in Lagos.
The teachers were presented brand-new vehicles for their passion and deployment of modern techniques to teach pupils.
The recipients were part of the finalists nominated for the Year 2021 Teachers’ Merit Award by the Screening Committee led by the chairperson of Association of Private Educators in Nigeria, Mrs. Lai Koiki.
Unveiling the school project, the Governor said the IT-enabled modular interactive classrooms would make a lasting impact in the State’s effort to make basic education accessible. Aside from equipping the classrooms with interactive touch-screens, Sanwo-Olu said the pupils would be given electronic tablets to aid both in-class and virtual learning.
He said: “This is the future leaning in public basic education in Nigeria and Africa.
The development of containerised modular classrooms is a welcome milestone on our journey towards ensuring that no child is left behind in Lagos.
“Our goal, as a Government, is to build learning spaces of the future, thereby bequeathing public schools that are driven by cutting-edge technology and that can compete favourably with the best schools anywhere in the world.”
Sanwo-Olu congratulated all the 620 pupils who are beneficiaries of the state-of-the-art school. He said the children in public schools deserved the best quality of education to prepare them as part of a solution provider in the 21st century. Having provided the modern facilities for their learning, the Governor charged the pupils to take full advantage of the opportunity to excel in their studies to justify the intervention.
The upgrade of the model college, Sanwo-Olu said, is part of the strategic interventions initiated in the public school system, which have led to the rehabilitation and modernisation of over 200 public schools.
He said: “So far, this administration has constructed more than 800 new classroom blocks in the public school system of Lagos and supplied about 150,000 units of furniture to our public schools across all six education districts of the State. The intervention has scaled up output in teaching and raised academic excellence.
“We have also improved security in our public schools by installing watch towers, perimeter fences, panic bells and flood lights, and have prioritised the comfort of boarding students through the provision of beddings and other necessary items. As the beneficiaries can attest to, the welfare and training of teaching and administrative staff in our public school have received significant attention as well.”
Sanwo-Olu urged administrators, teachers and pupils of the model college to take full ownership of the facilities provided and ensure the infrastructure is maintained. Chairman of the school’s Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), Barr. Omoyele Akintayo, said the feat by the State Government would champion a new course of transformation in the country.
Akintayo hailed Sanwo-Olu for listening to the yearning of the parents to rebuild the school with structures that have a modern outlook.
“I cannot hide my feelings and emotions today. I’m highly delighted. There is no amount of accolades and encomiums that can be adequately showered on Sanwo-Olu that will be enough to show our appreciation for this world-class innovation,” the PTA chairman said.
Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo, said the feat was another promise kept by the Governor, noting that the Sanwo-Olu administration’s education reforms had transformed public schools.
She said the model college deserved the gesture, given the academic excellence it had turned out in national examinations over the last three years.
“This is an iconic building that will last for ages and transit our children into the 21st century-based knowledge,” the Commissioner said.
Giving more details on the structures, SCRPS chairman, Mr. Hakeem Smith, said the containerised structures were raised on high density rafts carefully calculated to hold both live and dead loads.
He said the floors were made of terrazzo material for durability, adding 30 convenience facilities were fitted in the academic area, while two composite toilets, which are water-free, are built for visitors and security guards.
He said the school was also rebuilt with a water system fitted with a filtration compartment to deliver potable water to the pupils.
Koiki, Director of Green Springs School, applauded the State Government for creating a reward system for teachers, stressing that the initiative had recognised the importance of education as bedrock of development.
Recipients of the brand-new vehicles are Adenike Ojo (Junior Secondary School Administrator), Folasade Oyedeji (Junior Secondary School teacher), Oluseyi Amoo (Junior Secondary School teacher), Olubukola Dosumu (Junior Secondary School teacher), Olusegun Muftau (Primary School administrator), and Fauziyat Adegeye (Primary School teacher).
Others are Michael Ayoola (Primary School teacher), Omolayo Fadayomi (Primary School teacher), Bolanle Alamu (Senior Secondary School administrator), Adeola Adefemi (Senior Secondary School teacher), Soji Megbowon (Senior Secondary School teacher), Yahya Adesokan (Senior Secondary School teacher), and Lukman Agbabiaka (Special Education Needs teacher).