By Elizabeth Osayande
THE quest to make the Nigerian girl child compete favourably with her counterparts globally informed the turning of the sod for the alumni building project initiated by the Old Girls Association of New Era Girls’ Secondary School, Lagos.
The ceremony performed by the national president of the association, Prof. Iyabo Runsewe Abiodun, in company of executive members, also saw the opening of an information communication technology, ICT centre for the school.
The project was facilitated by one of the old girls through the support of the National Communications Commission, NCC.
Prof. Abiodun explained that the building was part of efforts to achieve the three thematic areas set by her team to improve the academic standard of the school; the moral standard and the visibility.
Her words: “The alumni building like I mentioned in my address, began when our tenure started 2018. We had three thematic areas: to improve the academic standard of the school; the moral standard and also to improve the visibility.
“Parts of the efforts necessitated us to do some needs assessment. We realized a lot of them need counselling on several issues that included sexuality and career counselling among others. We also felt that if our academic standards are better, people are likely to know that we are here. Those are the main reasons we want to have a purposeful building that will offer counselling to the students, and where they will have more access to textbooks they do not have, they can have them online and download, reprint them at subsidised rate.
“The building estimated to cost N40 million will have the downstairs that will have a hall for our meetings; while the first floor will have four rooms that will house an e-library room for computers; a counselling room among others. We plan to get ad-hoc counsellors apart from the ones the school has already,” she said.
On the launch of the ICT building, the paediatrician reiterated that: “The ICT building that we commissioned today was facilitated by one of the old students, 73/74 set. She brought in the National Communications Commission, NCC to the school for the project. We are in the computer age, and our girls skills need to be improved in terms of computer. We hope that the computer about 16 sets both for the Junior and Senior schools will enable students to have hands on and that they can get things online.
“Incidentally, as a paediatrician, and an advocate of children. And by virtue of being a woman, interested more in the girl child. I hope to see a girl child that will remain a woman. One that has a milk of human kindness that attains for the best. As the school slogan says “Utmost for the girls. I look up to the girl child that will grow up to a woman that would lead by example, have the fear of God. And show that Nigeria can be better than it is. I look up to the girl child that has confidence,” she added.
Appreciating the gesture of the old girls, the Principal Mrs. Oyefeso Adenike, said: “We are glad and excited, you know what it means to have an ICT building in the school and for our use. It means that our girls will be more exposed to the use of computer and become computer literate. It will be used to do a lot of things on the internet.
“And besides, the ICT building, came with a generator to power it and this can also serve the entire school. So, making use of the ICT building, there will be nothing like power failure.”