The Lagos State Government is set to deliver about 300 classrooms into the public school system, just as it continues rehabilitation work on 134 public primary and secondary schools, as part of efforts to revamp the infrastructural decay in the Lagos education sector.
Speaking at a media briefing on Wednesday in Ikeja, the Chairman, Special Committee on Rehabilitation of Public Schools (SCRPS), Mr. Hakeem Smith, stated that in the past year, Lagos State has embarked on massive public schools infrastructure renewal and rehabilitation programme, adding that no school will be left behind in the exercise.
He revealed that the Special Committee was constituted and inaugurated on November 4, 2019, by Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu with a mandate to undertake a detailed assessment of structural, electrical and environmental rehabilitation required in public schools in Lagos as well as enumerate and categorise all works and furniture needed in identified schools, among others.
The Charman noted that SCRPS had since swung into action by conducting an on-the-spot assessment of various public schools in need of immediate attention saying, “We toured various public schools throughout the length and breadth of the State with the commitment to rehabilitate dilapidated public schools as well as ensure that no school is left behind in the exercise”.
According to him, the statutory responsibilities of the committee include the construction of new classroom blocks where there are shortfalls, rehabilitation of old and dilapidated classroom blocks, completion of abandoned classroom blocks, construction of new schools in communities where none existed, embarking on emergency works and provision of students, teachers and principals’ furniture and other relevant initiatives.
He lamented that the year 2020 was challenging because the global Coronavirus pandemic grounded a lot of activities, adding that substantial progress was, however, made under the phase one projects by embarking on the construction of about 300 new classrooms for the public school system, which will soon be completed.
Pointing out that seven new hostel blocks comprising of 1400 beddings are also nearing completion in the model colleges, Smith stated that eight watchtowers with alarm bells and perimeter fences to enhance security have been put in place in the schools.
On the plans put in place by the government for the maintenance of school infrastructures, the Chairman said “we work closely with the Lagos State Infrastructure Asset Management Agency (LASIAMA) to ensure periodic checks on the schools and also implore the school teachers and principals to take ownership and responsibility for the infrastructure provided for them”.
He also hinted that part of SCRPS future plans include the rehabilitation of more public primary and secondary schools, building new schools and new classroom blocks in existing schools, provision of furniture for students, teachers and principals, incorporating lnformation Communication Technology (ICT) to drive teaching and learning, providing school buildings and undertaking green initiatives.
Others, according to him, are the improvement of schools’ environment to support students with special needs, use of interactive screens, tablets and the like to develop the lT skills of the students, adding that one such initiative has commenced at the Vetland Junior Grammar School, Agege, with a modular construction type building that would be replicated in all the six education districts in the State.