Lagos State Government has come up with an initiative to ensure a conducive and secured learning environment, Through its Special Committee on Rehabilitation of Public School (SCRPS), they have unveiled digitized container classrooms at Vetland Junior Grammar School, Agege.
Chairman of SCRPS, Mr. Hakeem Smith, said the committee, established as an intervention body, has made giant strides in addressing infrastructural challenges in Lagos public schools.
Each of the classroom compartment is adequately-insulated to give comfort and create a conducive ambience for hybrid learning for children in public secondary school.
The project is completed with three laboratories and four staff rooms – all made from containers. 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, lawn tennis, badminton, and basketball.
The classrooms and ancillary facilities have dedicated energy source, off grid; they are powered by solar panels, which guarantees constant power supply to enable teaching and learning.
The entire project was conceived and delivered by the Special Committee in 2019 when the Governor charged it to implement interventions designed to improve access to basic education.
Commissioning the classrooms, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said the project marked another milestone intervention in the state’s ongoing transformation of the education sector.
The containerised modular building, he said, is made up of nine regular classrooms, three laboratories and four staff rooms, while all of the spaces are powered by solar panels, which means guaranteed power supply to enable teaching and learning under the most conducive conditions.
According to the governor, the structure is the future of public basic education in Nigeria and Africa and a welcome milestone on the state’s journey towards ensuring that no child is left behind in Lagos State.
He stressed that his administration has so far constructed more than 800 new classroom blocks in the public school system of Lagos State. He appealed to the principal, teachers and pupils of Vetland Junior Grammar School, and in all benefiting schools, to take full ownership of these facilities being provided, and ensure they are used and maintained responsibly.
He said: “You have a duty to take good care of everything that has been made available to you, so that future generations can enjoy them as well.
Congratulating all 620 pupils who are the pioneer beneficiaries of this state-of-the-art school., the governor said they deserved to receive the best quality of education available, to prepare them for life and work in the 21st century.
He said: “ Seven months ago, I commissioned an ultra-modern 18-classroom block, with state-of-the-art sporting facilities, at Elemoro Comprehensive Junior Secondary School, Ibeju-Lekki.
“On that occasion, I promised to replicate this across all the education districts of Lagos State. We are keeping that promise, which is why we are here.
“Our goal is to build schools of the future, public schools that are driven by cutting-edge technology and that can compete favourably with the best schools anywhere in the world
“Also, about 150,000 units of furniture have been supplied to our public schools, across all six education districts of the state, for the use of our students, teachers and principals.
“We have 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.
“We have not limited ourselves to infrastructure. As the beneficiaries can attest to, the welfare and training of teaching and administrative staff in our public school system have received significant attention as well.
“ And I want to assure you all that we will do even more in this regard. With these facilities that have been provided, it is now up to you to take full advantage, and to strive to excel in your studies, making your parents, guardians, teachers and the entire state proud. The present and the future truly belong to you.”
For Chairman of the school’s Parents-Teachers Association (PTA), Omoyele Akintayo, the feat would champion a new course of transformation in the country.
Akintayo extolled Sanwo-Olu for listening to the yearnings 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.