Rt. Hon. Taiwo Olatunbosun, Ekiti State Commissioner for Information has said that the State Government is renovating and rehabilitating 203 public secondary Schools in the State under the World Bank assisted Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE) programme.
The Commissioner who disclosed this during a tour of the project sites across the three Senatorial Districts in the State, said that the programme is part of efforts of Governor Biodun Oyebanji led administration to develop the education sector and provide conducive teaching and learning environment in the State.
According to Rt. Hon. Olatunbosun, the ongoing AGILE projects are tailored to improve secondary education opportunities for adolescent girls aged between 10 and 20 in tandem with the Human Capital Development agenda of the administration and the vision of shared prosperity.
The Commissioner said “the projects are specifically aimed at using comprehensive approaches to address constraints they face in attending or completing secondary school.
“The focus is to provide interventions aimed at keeping girls in school while providing opportunities for them to acquire critical life skills, including digital skills which empower them to enroll, stay and complete schooling and navigate to adulthood.“
It also supports improving existing infrastructure in secondary schools to accommodate increases in girls’ enrollment and transition into secondary schools.
Highlighting the projects to include renovation and upgrading of classrooms blocks, laboratories, libraries, ICT rooms, perimeter fencing, procurement of school furniture as well as construction of toilets and sanitation facilities, Olatunbosun said that the projects were already positively impacting on the teaching and learning environment in the benefitting schools as well as improving school enrolment and security.
He explained that in line policy of the Oyebanji administration’s policy of ensuring value for money, each of the benefitting schools have a 17-member School-based Management Committees (SBMC) made up of representatives of traditional rulers, religious leaders and other stakeholders in their respective communities and the benefitting schools that manage the execution of the projects to ensure transparency and accountability.
The Commissioner listed categories of intervention to include renovation and upgrading of infrastructure, procurement of furniture as well as construction of water, sanitation and hygiene facilities with separate toilets for boys and girls and boreholes.
Other areas of intervention are construction of perimeter fencing, purchase of laboratory equipment, purchase of equipment for the ICT laboratory, provision of Solar power system, smartboards for teaching and distribution of 910 laptops to students in 35 schools.
Reiterating the commitment of Governor Biodun Oyebanji administration to the development of the education sector and provision of conducive teaching and learning environment in the State, Olatunbosun noted that the State Government is executing similar projects under the Innovation Development, Effectiveness in the Acquisition of Skills (IDEAS) adding that the three Government technical Colleges at Igbara Odo, Ijero and Otun Ekiti.
In her remarks, the State Project Coordinator of AGILE, Mrs. Yewande Adesua explained that the programme operates on three major components to improve infrastructures in schools, work on life skills and digital literacy and strengthening the project to facilitate the other components of the Donor Bank.
In separate interviews, the principals of Corpus Christi College, Ilawe Ekiti, Mr. Stephen Arogundade; United Secondary School, also at Ilawe Ekiti, Mrs. Florence Ajayi and Ado Community Grammar School, Mr. Richard Ogungbamigbe applauded the State Governor, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji for his developmental policy that had been a huge boost to the education sector in the state.
They said that the projects have not only improved the teaching and learning environments in their schools but have also brought about a significant improvement in the enrollment of students.