By Zarumi Mashood
The 1981 set of Old Students Association, Erin-Ile Secondary School, has renovated computer laboratory of the school as part of the efforts to give back to their old school.
The set also equipped the newly renovated computer laboratory with 12 desktop computers and eight laptop computers.
Other items donated to equip the computer room include 10KVA Generator, a printer, 4 ceiling fans, furniture, fittings and painting.
The historic occasion which took place at the school premises on Friday, 9th of October, 2020, attracted dignitaries from all walks of life.
Dignitaries at the event include the Elerin of Erin-Ile, Oba Abdulganiyu Ajibola Olusokun II who was represented by Bale Iwoye, Chief M.S. Ojo and Bale Okeore, Chief Yinusa Lawal; the National President of Erin-Ile Secondary School Old Student Association, Dr Oyebode Yekeen as well as executive and members of Old Student Association among others.
Speaking at the event, the President, ESS Set 81, Engr Paul Olagunju said the donation was prompted with the current state of the school which he described as indeed worrisome and challenging.
He explained that the donation made possible by the contributions of members of set 81 at home and abroad with the believe that the gesture would awake their conscience to be alive to the motto of the school: “Act well your part.”
Engr Olagunju added that the school gave them so much, laid the foundation for their thriving career and empowered them with life skill to build on.
According to him “We all remember with nostalgia the beauty, high standard laboratory, hostel facilities, top class teaching and non teaching staff. Today it’s all like a mirage. No thanks to the government policies and lack of investment in education. This calls for men and women of good conscience and goodwill to rise up to the occasion.
“It is time give back and build the future we saw for our school and the upcoming generations. To this end, the set 81 among other initiatives is hereby donating this ICT centre to the glory of God and for the empowerment of the student. In order to advance learning, skill acquisition in the field of information technology and enhance their competitive advantage on the global stage.
“We, therefore, trust that the school will do all in their power to ensure that these objectives are fulfilled, adequately take care of these facilities, secure it and optimize the opportunities it brings.
“The donation herewith consists of 12 desktop computers, 8 laptops, 4 ceiling fans, 10KVA generator, furniture, fittings and painting. This has cost us millions of Naira.
“May I use this opportunity to thank our members, the committee that worked tireless to execute this project and everyone who gave generously.
“Furthermore, May I encourage us all not to be wary in good works, but to see this donation as the beginning of greater things to happen to ESS. When we desire, there will be accomplishments.
“Finally, to all our students, this project is a product of immense sacrifice, make best use of it, keep it well and be determined to equip yourself with ICT technology, as you know, we live in the digital era. There is practically nothing you can accomplish without computer. This is to empower you in order to compete globally.
“May I therefore end on this note of appreciation to The Almighty God, His Royal Highness and chiefs, our principal who has been relentless, ESS81, the National president who is also my egbon, mentor and senior, and all the members of ESSOSA general body. Your presence here today is a sign of great things to come”.
In his remark, the National President of the Erin-Ile Secondary School, Dr Oyebode Yekeen called on government at all levels to prioritise funding of education sector as part of efforts towards developing the country.
Dr Oyebode who is a former Acting Rector of Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin said a nation without a vibrant education sector would always be plagued by crises which is a major factor contributing to under development.
He noted that government alone could not shoulder the responsibility of education sector, hence the need for other stakeholders like PTA, the proprietors and the alumni to join hands with the government.
His words: “While I was in school, we had all the equipment in our physics lab but today, nothing is there, it is now time that the government, the proprietors, the community, PTA and alumni join hands in the funding of education to be able to develop industrially”.
Dr Oyebode assured that the old students would work together with the school management in providing adequate security for the equipment.
The National President commended the 1981 set for renovating and equipping the computer laboratory of the school which he said would greatly enhance the quality of teaching and learning of ICT in the school.
He said that 1981 set is one of the components of old students that has been giving back to their alma mater, adding that other sets under the national umbrella were also doing great towards the progress and development of the school.
The National President of ESS old students highlighted the renovation of school administrative block, donation of cash to the best students in Science and Arts classes, design of school master plan.
“So, on behalf of national umbrella of old students, school management and other stakeholders, I want to thank 1981 set for your contribution towards the development and progress of the school, we know in the past, you have been involved in the drilling of borehole, renovation of the dining hall and lots more and in addition to that, you are donating sets of computer, generator, ceiling fans, furniture and painting of the computer laboratory.
“I’m using this medium to appeal to other sets as components to restore type of qualitative education we received here. Students are not getting the kind of education we received here because facilities are not on ground.
“I remember in those days, what equipment are you looking for in the physics lab that is not there? But today do we have it? No. So, we want appreciate 1981 set for paying back to the system they have benefitted from. Like Oliver Twist, we will be asking for more. Please, do more, we need your participation”.
Dr Oyebode appreciated the Elerin of Erin-Ile Oba Abdulganiyu Ajibola as the proprietor of this school, the first chairman of governing board, Chief J.A. Aderibigbe and Erin-Ile community for their involvement in building and maintenance of the school.
“To the principals, something has been donated, the security is very paramount. We want you to ensure the security and maintenance of these items as a way of challenging other components of old students and the national body to do more for the school”.
In his royal message to the gathering, the Elerin of Erin-Ile, Oba Abdulganiyu Ajibola appreciated the 1981 set of old students for giving back to their alma mater.
Represented at the event by Bale Iwoye, Chief M.S. Ojo and Bale Okeore, Chief Yinusa Lawal, Oba Ajibola encouraged other sets to emulate 1981 set by coming to the aid of the school at all times.
He identified lack of the proper maintenance culture as one of the factors responsible for infrastructural deficit in the country
The traditional ruler implored the school management to ensure proper maintenance of the facilities and prevent them from being stolen or misused.
Also speaking, the Chairman of Parent Teacher Association in the school, Mallam Ibrahim Aburi said the gesture was very encouraging, adding that old students have been the pillars behind the progress and development of the school.
While appreciating the old students for always being there for the school, he said that the impacts of old students to development of the school cannot be overemphasized.
The PTA chairman mentioned drilling of borehole, renovation of administration block, construction of classroom, among others as some of the developmental projects which old students had executed in the school.
“What they do today is very encouraging aside from what they have done before. This is because today’s gesture would encourage students to be ICT compliance as we are now in computer era.
“As we are appreciating this, we are still asking for more especially in the areas of school’s needs. This is because this school is the first Secondary School in Oyun LGA and we want it to continue to lead in the local government. We pray God to replenish your pockets. We appreciate you all and we appreciate Engr Paul Olagunju in particular. God will be with you all”.
The Project Coordinator, Prince Afolabi said that the development which led to the stolen of set of computer in the school was very sad.
He emphasized the need for the community, school management, PTA and other stakeholders to rise to the challenge of adequate protection of school properties.
Responding, the Principal of the school, Senior section, Alhaja Rekia Rabiu Suleiman and her counterpart in the Junior section, Mrs Tiamiyu Mulikat described the programme as historic, adding that the set has been very amiable, highly dedicated, God fearing, lover of education, progressive and highly committed.
The Principals observed that government’s budget alone could not adequately meet the needs in the education section because the education is capital intensive.
They stressed the need for all and sundry to join hands with the government through the provision of adequate learning and instructional materials as well as conducive environment for qualitative education.
While describing those behind the carting away of reasonable laptops provided to school by the Federal Government as enemies of progress, unprogressive mind and ill-hearted men, they said the perpetrators of the bad act had deprived students of opportunity to learn practical aspect of computer science except the theoretical aspect.
“This has not given us adequate and positive result since 2017. This has killed the interest of the students in computer science. We are now in technological era, any school that is deprived of this training will lag behind in the field of education, hence progress will never be recorded.
“It is during our running helter skelter that ESSOSA 1981 set came to our rescue by providing the school with sets of computer, other materials and even the laboratory was painted inside and outside. To God be the glory! 1981 ESSOSA set wiped away our tears.
“This set of ESSOSA 1981 has been assisting the school in so many areas. The renovation of the hall, purchasing of a new engine for the old coaster bus, digging of a motorised borehole (though it only functions well during the raining season), payment of physics teacher’s salaries then, just to mention but few.
The Principals however solicited for more support from the government, old students and other stakeholders in the area of needs which include complete painting of the outer part of computer laboratory, with the colour of school uniform, electrification of the whole block and installation of CCTV camera for effective security, provision of big security light at the school gate and employment of a competent and highly committed night guards.
Other areas of need of the school according to them are typing pool and the school library ceiling are in the state of collapsing, renovation of school hall that is in ongoing needs ceiling, electricity, tiles and paints, employment of teachers on the subjects like Physics, English Language, Government, Financial Account, Fishery and Economics as N-Power staff that were handling those subjects have been laid off and some were transferred without any replacement and construction of a mini fence in between the school and Moje College of Education for the safety of students morally and psychologically.
“The rest are renovation of staff quarters, completion of school mosque and chapel, procurement of new school bus, industrial motorised borehole, scholarship for the less privileged students, equipment of library with modern materials, equipment of J.S.S staff and Home Economic, Physics, Biology and Chemistry laboratories”.
Head Girl and Head Boy of the school were full of appreciation to the old students for the gesture and promised to use the equipment for intended purpose, saying that “today’s programme will encourage us to always remember our roots which is ESS”.