To affirm that basic education across the country is in dire need of support to raise the bar in the sector may be an understatement if the current state of learning facilities in public schools is taken into consideration in Nigeria
It’s against this backdrop that public spirited individuals and corporate organizations have taken up the responsibility to improve on the quality of the human and material resources with the overall belief that it will have a positive impact on the educational development of the nation’s schools especially at the foundation levels.
Intervention efforts in this regards had come in different shades such as giving back to the society or philanthropy to assist educational institutions across the country to further arrest the facility decay in some of the schools as one of the critical sector in measuring the development of a nation.
NIPCO Plc, one of the downstream operators in the nation’s oil and gas industry, had as one of its broad CSR policy a commitment to making a positive social investment in the area of health, education and infrastructure upgrade in its host communities amongst others.
Under the policy, the company in partnership with the host communities undertakes to assist in identifying project and actions that would impact positively on the populace as well as adopt seamless ways of executing them.
The immediate past Education Secretary in charge of Apapa district under the Lagos State Basic Education Board, .Hon. Kabiru Dosunmu who led a delegation of the Board to NIPCO for a standard computer centre to serve pupils and teachers in Apapa and environs ,the company approved the plea with a firm assurance of providing the assistance
Hon Dosunmu had visited the company to appreciate the refurbishment of four classrooms and toilet conveniences in Apapa Nursery & Primary School, Oniru, Lagos which the company facilitated as part of giving back to one of its host communities’ saying, “we want to act as Oliver Twist by kindly seeking for your help in putting up a computer center “
The company in acceding to the request said it will serve as veritable avenue of expressing in physical terms its CSR initiatives and provide a befitting place for computer education in the area and the environs.
Speaking at the inauguration of the laboratory, managing director ,NIPCO , Mr Sanjay Teotia, said upon agreeing to handle the project ,the company held further discussions with the Education authorities ,local government officials, school management and came back with the following observations :
Pupils from the LGEA comprising Apapa local government and Apapa Iganmu local council development area travel far and wide to get basic computer education to the extent that some had been involved in accidents in the process
The classroom set aside for the project is in poor state thus unsuitable to house computers and accessories
Requisite computers and accessories were not available to make for meaningful education in the area
Pupils of the school are facing great difficulty receiving any form of computer education with the teachers’ also helpless due to lack of requisite facilities
According to him, management took up the golden opportunity to address the aforementioned as part of its CSR projects
The major takeaways from the project inaugurated include the following:
NIPCO Plc is a company committed to giving back to its host communities:
Stakeholders – Pupils, Teachers, Parents / Guardians, Regulatory agencies will be delighted with NIPCO Plc for the gesture especially in this computer age ; and
Exemplifies continuous promotion of the company’s brand equity;
Mr Teotia listed the facilities and infrastructure upgrade during the project includes: refurbishment of one of the classroom in Apapa Nursery and Primary School – Screening of walls, painting, electrical, flooring, provision of sliding windows, enhanced illumination of the centre etc ;provision of 12 Dell Desktop computers, printers and other ancillary facilities; two HP air conditioners; and 7.6KVA generator to ensure constant electricity to power the gadgets in case of public power supply challenges.
He explained that part of the vision of the project is to make the centre a major hub of computer education in the area and serve as bond with the community as one of the company’s stakeholders
He noted that at NIPCO, CSR has changed to a major social investment with our host communities as the core area of execution, hence the decision of management to ensure that pupils are exposed to basic computer education components to enhance their learning capabilities.
Mr Sanjay said that a maintenance plan to ensure that all the facilities provided are serviceable all the time, personnel from the company’s information technology department would undertake regular check on the computers.
Acknowledging the support received from the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board, Education Secretary, Apapa local government, Alhaja Fausat Olawepo, officials of the council and head teacher of the Apapa Nursery and Primary School, Comrade Olayinka Emmanuel, the managing director pleaded that the facilities be put to good use in the overall interest of steady growth in the education sector of the state economy.
Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board [SUBEB], represented by education secretary Apapa local government area, Alhaja Fausat Olawepo,commended the management of NIPCO for supporting education in the state .
She said the numerous support of the company would definitely go a long way in improving the standard of education in the state aside from positioning NIPCO as a socially responsible organization conscious of impacting positively on its host communities.
Alhaja Olawepo noted that NIPCO had also sponsored many co – curricular activities in the Local government adding that the newly commissioned center would facilitate computer education in the LG in particular and the state in general
A parent of one of the pupils, Mrs Uwazuruonye Chinyere said: “NIPCO Plc is a good company which is committed to giving back to its host communities as we can see today, the company had fulfilled another promise by establishing a well-furnished computer laboratory for the school.”
Mrs Uwazuruonye,who represented the school parent forum, said she was astonished seeing the refurbished building and the computer donates by the company as well as other items provided to ensure hitch free operation of the center.
One of the pupils, Dansu Alexander noted the past efforts of the company in the past including sponsoring inter house sports, supplying of books and refurbishing of classrooms and etc.
He advocated the need for more projects to aid learning in all ramifications in the school even as he prayed for the growth of the company.
The head teacher of the school, Comrade Emmanuel Olayinka, promised to ensure maximum use of the facilities in the overall interest of the pupils in the school as well as their counterparts in the local government area.
He said NIPCO has been there always at the point of their needs stressing that the company has manifested strong desire in improving the infrastructural facilities in the school amongst other support to education in the state.