Gabriel Dike

The Adopt-a-School Initiative midwifed by Oando Foundation (OF) with several partners has started to yield positive results as pupils, teachers and stakeholders acknowledged that the intervention will boost teaching and learning in the beneficiary schools.  

Oando Foundation, an independent charity, through its flagship adopt-a-school initiative aimed at  improving public primary school pupils access to quality basic education and Sumitomo Chemical, a Japanese company have renewed their commitment to ensuring that Information Communications Technology (ICT) education is supported through the establishment of solar powered ICT centres in OF adopted primary schools across the country.

The partnership which commenced in 2016 has impacted the lives of over 2,400 children; bridging the existing gap in the implementation of ICT in public schools and empowering pupils with technology skills.

ICT education was included in the Nigerian primary school curriculum in 1999 by the Nigeria Education Research and Development Council (NERDC), but the gap in its implementation is still evident. While most children in rural areas do not have access to a computer, three out of every five children in urban areas lack basic ICT skills. To reverse this negative trend, the foundation has to date successfully established 46 ICT/creative centers in its adopted schools, serving the learning needs of over 20,000 pupils.

Officials of Oando Foundation and representatives of Sumitomo Chemicals company visited one of the adopted schools: Dele Ajomale Primary School, Ilasa, Lagos. The school pupils, teachers and School Based Management Board Committee commended the Japanese firm for their investment in education.

President and CEO of Sumitomo Chemical America, Inc. and a member of the company’s Sustainability Promotion Committee, Scott Mitchell said “The company continued the philosophy its founder established 400 years ago to create harmony by contributing to the society through its business activities.  Through our education support programs, we hope to contribute to the upbringing of our next global leaders. In particular, we recognize the importance of ICT literacy programs for children from an early age.   Our partnership with Oando Foundation has been an exciting journey supporting the public schools of Nigeria.

Mitchell, who interacted with some school pupils using the computers in the ICT centre, expressed joy that the facilities are being used for the benefit of the school, stating ‘’we are pleased with progress made. We built schools in 12 different Africa countries.’’   

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Head, Oando Foundation, Adekanla Adegoke, said: “At the most basic level being able to navigate around a computer is an essential skill for today’s Nigerian youth. In the work place having ICT skills is important, thus students need to be comfortable and able to use technology not just for effective learning but to be able to stand alongside their peers globally in the 21st century.

‘’ To this end Oando Foundation promotes ICT literacy through a variety of formal and informal activities designed to enable school pupils acquire functional computer literacy’’.

According to her, Oando Foundation has adopted 88 schools across 23 States – Adamawa, Akwa-Ibom, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Cross River, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Kaduna, Katsina, Kwara, Lagos, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, and the FCT Abuja.

Adegoke listed other OF achievements to include renovation of 40 schools, award of 1,153 scholarships, upgrade of five early childhood care and development classes, established 34 solar powered digital literacy centres, capacity building for 2, 714 teachers in modern pedagogy and core subject content, trained 1,594 SBMC and other projects.

The ICT teacher, Adeola Ajibade lauded the initiative and disclosed that the 13 computers are used to teach only primary five and six pupils in the four schools and appealed for more so that it will reduce time wastage and stress experienced by the pupils.

Her words: ‘’We have a large class, so I teach the four schools batch by batch. When we started, it was not easy for the pupils. Many did not know how to operate the computer but they have mastered it and many of them are learning fast.’’

Like Oliver Twist, the Headteacher of the school, Mrs. Ademidun Adeyemo requested for more facilities such as library, sickbay and additional ICT centres.

Mrs. Adeyemo appreciated OF and Sumitomo Chemical company for investing in the future of the pupils and said the ICT will improve their knowledge of several subjects and coding.

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