Help came the way of Methodist Basic School, Agbeni, Ibadan, as the lawmaker representing Oyo South senatorial district, Adesoji Akanbi took it upon himself to renovate the school.
The school, a three-storey building, said to be renovated at the cost of N21 million, was commissioned yesterday.
Before Akanbi, who is a former member of the House of Representatives, decided to give it a facelift, only two floors were used as the two topmost floors had become what pupils and staffs of the school called ‘open heavens’ as they were without roof and inadequate chairs and tables. As a result, the school suffered setback in admission of pupils. Some teachers, it was learnt, sought relocation.
Now, it has not only been renovated, new tables and chairs, white boards, staff rooms, toilet and other modern facility are now in place.
Handing over the renovated blocks of classrooms and school infrastructure to the management of the school, the lawmaker said he was motivated to embark on the work because of the need to preserve the heritage and investments of Chief Obafemi Awolowo in education among which is Methodist school, Agbeni.
He described Awolowo as an everlasting light, adding that it was expedient for all and sundry to support funding of education and revive dilapidating school infrastructure in view of lean resources available to government.
Beyond the need to attend to the pressing yearnings of the pupils, Akanbi said he was motivated to do the renovation by Awolowo’s son, Segun and Baba Ijo of Methodist Church, Chief Bode Akindele.
Speaking, Presbyter, Methodist Church, Reverend Ezekiel Akande, recalled that the school had gone dilapidated, had leaking roofs, broken windows, sandy floors and collapsed fence.
Noting that the poor condition of the school remained of concern to the church and community, described Akanbi’s intervention as God send and liberating.
He supported calls that public office holders be mandated to ensure that their children and wards attend schools here in Nigeria, rather than abroad.
Chairman, African Newspapers of Nigeria Plc, Reverend (Mrs) Tola Oyediran, who attended the school in 1945, saluted Akanbi’s intervention, tasking authorities of the school on maintenance.
Pointing to Chief Awolowo’s commitment to education, she joyed that Awolowo’s works like Methodist school was not forsaken.
Especially, Oyediran lauded Akanbi for bridging religious divides in carrying out his projects.
In his comments, Acting Executive Secretary, Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board, Mr B. T. Ogunjimi, harped on the need for non-state actors to fund education to improve upon existing infrastructure.
He allayed fears of poor maintenance, noting that the School’s Governing Board were expected to live up to this responsibility.
In what she described as “open heavens”, Head Teacher, Methodist Basic School 2, Mrs Yerokun Anthonia, decried that pupils had abandoned some classes owing to leaking roofs.
She praised Akanbi’s completion of the renovation within six weeks.
Some old students to include Mr Babatunde Oyedokun, Mrs Orefuwa Ayanbadejo, Professor Boluwaji Ajayi noted that the building renovation was among ways of keeping alive Awolowo’s commitment to education.
Photo credits: Labade Adedayo