At the commissioning of four newly delivered school infrastructure projects in Lagos State Model College in Igbokuta, Ikorodu division, on Friday, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu spared time to engage in a heart-to-heart talk with pupils on bullying.
The Governor frowned at any action taken up by pupils to become overbearing on their mates and anyone partaking in organised intimidation of students. He described bullying as “perversive culture” alien to the virtue of education.
Sanwo-Olu told the pupils that bullying must not be seen as a sign of courage, but antics of physical weakness, urging them to immediately report anyone intimidating them.
He said: “The choice of school projects we are delivering is to raise the standards of our schools and ensure that you pupils learn under the most conducive environment. You must be well behaved, if there is any unusual event, don’t be afraid to say it out. We will not allow bullying in our schools.
“Pupils in the senior classes will not be allowed to bully their mates in junior classes. Senior pupils are meant to support and encourage their junior ones. We do not want to have pupils that will be condoning bullying and cultism in their schools. Anyone of you who is a bully or member of a secret cult group must renounce and stay away from the act.
“I encourage you to say something if you see something. We are determined to eradicate bullying and ensure there is harmony in all our schools. I want you to be supportive of one another. It is only when you support yourselves that you will grow to become great students, individuals and great citizens of this nation.”
Sanwo-Olu challenged the teachers to be watchful and attentive to pupils’ observation, noting that showing understanding could save bullied pupils.
Handing over the ultramodern 12 classrooms block, 182-bed dormitory, reading rooms and a laundromat built in the State-owned Model College, Sanwo-Olu said his administration believed effective teaching and learning could only take place when standard infrastructure and well-trained teaching staff are provided.
His Government, he said, remained committed to raising quality and providing equitable education to all students.
He said: “Our Government is committed not only to the students’ educational progress, but to the fulfilment of teachers. The 95 per cent performance recorded in the last West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) results by this Model College is impressive and we are beginning to see the outcome of the investment we are committing to education.
“In the current year, we allocated N122 billion on education, which is the second largest after infrastructure. We delivered over 1,097 projects in 970 schools across Lagos, while ensuring prompt construction and rehabilitation of 322 dilapidated public schools and provision of 87,000 dual composite units of furniture. Next year, the allocation to education has been raised by 22 per cent, estimated to be about N171 billion, for education alone.”
The state Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, said the new projects would increase enrolment of students in the catchment area and help develop pupils’ potential.
She said Sanwo-Olu’s infrastructure drive in schools was to ensure all students across State-owned schools received same quality of education in a conducive environment.
“All members of the education family are happy to see that Mr. Governor’s promises are being kept in less than three years,” Adefisayo said.