Saturday, 6 April 2019

LAFROGRAMS At 50: Stakeholders Task Government On Free And Quality Education

Worried about the spate of decline in the standard of education and increase in the number of out of school children in the country, the old students, teachers and proprietor of Lagos African Church Grammar School (LAFROGRAMS), Ifako in Lagos have called on the government at various levels to refocus their priorities, gear up the standard of education, make it free and compulsory for the children of school age.

Speaking with Saturday INDEPENDENT during the golden jubilee anniversary of the school, Rt. Reverend Gabriel Taiwo Adebanjo, Bishop of Lagos Central Diocese, African Church and Chairman of board of Governor, LAFROGRAMS, said the church would continue her giant stride of providing quality and affordable education.

He also urged government to up its game by providing necessary infrastructure and conducive environment that will boost the children performances and standard of education in general.

“We want to thank God for hitherto He has taken us from inception, 50 years ago. Our fathers saw education as bedrock of nation’s development and they established this school. Our projection here is to continue to develop in the area of infrastructure as well as academic excellence. Our students have been performing very well both in internal and external examinations. They are good ambassadors of the school and they have been representing the school very well,” the Bishop maintained.

The Bishop said education shouldn’t been a money making venture but rather a service to humanity that would liberate both the poor and the rich children.

“Our major objective is not a money making venture. Our church has been supporting to make sure that the fee is affordable irrespective of your class. This school is not for the rich alone like other convention institutions that you have in the country. We are trying all we could to make sure it is affordable to all and that every student can achieve his educational goals in the society,” the chairman said.

Also, in the mood of appreciation Mojisola Funmilayo Oyetayo, the School Principal, thanked the board and the old students for their constant supports that has kept the school running effectively.

However, she urged government to raise the bar, set a standard and ensure that only the professional are given opportunity to run school in order to save our standard of education from further nose diving.

“I want to give glory to the Most High God who has counted us worthy to see this day. LAFROGRAMS is celebrating 50th anniversary today, a golden jubilee, to the glory of most High God. Many schools that were returned at the same time have gone into extinction. We are still waxing stronger and can stand shoulder to shoulder with others outside there.

“The problem we are having in Nigeria is the approval of all these mushroom schools outside there. No matter the standard of private schools it cannot still measure up with government owned or mission schools. Take for example in LAGRMM before you become a teacher, you have to be professionally and academically qualified to handle the subject you are teaching. Before a person can establish a school, government must ensure is up to the standard and professionally qualified. Here, we won’t allow the standard to go down. We are building on the foundation laid by the founding fathers. On that basis, am proud to tell you that our children are winning scholarship and they are on top in everywhere the find themselves. LAFROGRAMS is place to be to acquire knowledge,” she said.

In the words of Kola Ojelabi, an old student, it is regrettable that government intervention has whittled down the standard of performance of his Alma matter.

“When I came in 1975, it was a very good school. With the dilution of government, taking over all missionary schools, it has really whittled down the influence of LARFOGRAM. The old students association is trying to ensure that the school comes back to the pedestrian it should be. I believe in another 10 years it would have regained itself,” Ojelabi assured.

He further advised government to increase allocation to education, make it a right and free for at least the first 12 years.

“Education is a right of every citizen. It should be our right at least the first 12 years of education. It should be free. Government should reorder it priority, pay more attention and invest more in education,” he advised.

To Otunba Moses Oluwole Paul, the current president of the school’s old student association, said that members have taken upon themselves to continually intervene in the affairs of the school through provision of infrastructure and moral support for the students

“The school has come of age. We members of the association have been a partner in progress. I took over four years ago as national president of the association. We have successfully donated equipment to biology, physics and chemistry laboratories. The toilet project is a result of our collective responsibility.

“The school hall was single handedly erected by one of us, Adeoluwa Taiwo, the current secretary to Ogun State Government. Also, Oloruntoba Oke, chairman of Ifako Ijaye Local Government, my classmate of 1977 set, has donated complete ICT room, fully air condition, projector and computers to the school. The missionary is doing well and our association is giving its full support,” said Otunba.

The series of activities to mark the school golden jubilee started on Thursday and capped with a thanksgiving service on Sunday.

No comments:

Post a Comment