Pupils, teachers and stakeholders in the education sector of Kwara State radiated with joy as Airtel unveiled the renovated blocks of classrooms and also donated toilet facilities, borehole for potable water, 400 school bags, 1, 400 note books, 400 uniforms, packs of pen among other items.
Pupils of Iyeru-Okin Primary School 1, Offa, Kwara State, Airtel’s newly adopted school, were in high spirit as they danced and sang in joy in appreciation of their newly renovated school. The teachers also joined in the celebration as they showered encomiums on Airtel.
Under its Adopt-a-School CSR programme, Airtel Nigeria has now adopted the school to add to the list of schools it supports across the country. The school was inaugurated on Thursday 16th July, 2015 amidst excitement and joy.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Segun Ogunsanya, said the Telco recognised the interest of the state government in uplifting the standard of education in Kwara State and is therefore pleased to partner with the government and people.
According to Ogunsanya who was represented by the Company’s Chief Sales Officer, Godfrey Efeurhobo, Education is the bedrock of development of a nation and the best place to start is at the formative stage of children, noting that the Nigerian government has taken various initiatives in this direction but has often not reached the poorest section of the society.
He added that Airtel is committed to enriching the lives of key stakeholders in the communities it operates in, noting that the telco will continue to create opportunities to uplift underprivileged kids through its various CSR programmes.
“In recognition of the role education plays in the development of a country, Airtel Nigeria has decided, as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility vision, to adopt the primary school in Iyeru-Okin. Under our Adopt-a-School programme, we adopt government-owned schools located in poor, rural/semi urban communities and either rehabilitate or rebuild them, as the case may be, just as we have done here,” Mr. Ogunsanya explained.
The newly adopted Iyeru-Okin Primary School will join the four other Airtel adopted primary schools spread across Nigeria, namely Oremeji Primary School II, Ajegunle, Lagos; St. John’s Primary School, Oke-Agbo, Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun; Community Primary School, Amumara, Imo and Presbyterian Primary School, Ediba, Cross River State.
While commending Airtel’s Adopt-a-School programme, Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Kwara, Mr. Lamid Alabi, noted that Airtel’s CSR initiative connects with the state educational infrastructure development programme.
Gov. Ahmed said: “I understand that Airtel has upgraded 3 blocks of classrooms and equipped them with whiteboards, chairs and tables, Furthermore, the company is providing uniforms, school bags for 400 hundred pupils including other support infrastructure and materials. Clearly, what Airtel has done at this school deserves our commendation and applause. The project represents a contribution to our educational development through corporate social responsibility intervention.” He therefore praised the board, management and staff of Airtel for initiating and completing the project.
Other stakeholders in the state including the Olofa of Offa, His Royal Majesty, Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi; Permanent Secretary, Kwara State Universal Basic Education Board, Dr. Musa Dasuki and the Education Secretary, Kwara State Local Government Education Authority, Mrs Olanipekun Tunrayo also lauded the telecoms giant for touching the lives of pupils and teachers in Iyeru-Okin Primary School 1.
Head Teacher of the School, Mrs. Bambe Beatrice while praising Airtel for transforming the school noted that the plight of pupils and teachers in the school has been addressed by Airtel.
She recalled: “In the former structure learning was not pleasant due to many factors. Pupils used to go out of the premises to fetch water, classrooms were not conducive for learning, and there was inadequate furniture in the classes.
“But with Airtel’s intervention programme, everything has improved. We have good furniture in the classes, drinkable water and educational materials. Many parents now prefer to bring their children to this school. We can say that Airtel is God-led in this regard.”
Iyeru-Okin Primary School 1 is now the fifth primary school in Nigeria to be adopted by Airtel Nigeria. The four other schools adopted by the company are in Lagos, Ogun, Imo, Cross River.
Over the years, Airtel has brought notable transformation to these schools by providing ultra-modern blocks of classrooms, borehole for portable water, classroom furniture and also donating items such as uniforms, bags and educational materials like books, textbooks and pens on a yearly basis.
Last year, hundreds of pupils and teachers benefited from the Airtel free eye screening exercises conducted in the adopted schools. In addition to these, several teachers in the schools have been trained by Airtel in collaboration with State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) of the various states.