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By NBF News
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For pupils and staff of Edward Blyden Memorial Primary School, Lafiagi, Lagos Island, Friday, October 22 will remain ever green in their minds as the Lagos State Government commissioned the reconstructed school built by Etisalat Nigeria.

Before the reconstruction of the structure, the school was in a sorry state but Etisalat Nigeria as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) took up the challenge and rebuilt the school thus giving it the desired facelift to the admiration of the pupils, staff, community and even the state government.

Commissioning the rebuilt school, the Deputy Governor of Lagos, Princess Sarah Sosan commended Etisalat tenacity in meeting its CSR and supporting the development and growth of its operating environment.

She reiterated the importance which the state government attaches to the education sector adding 'education remains the greatest legacy that we can bequeath to the coming generation. It is a veritable tool for socio-economic development. An educated society is an informed society and an asset to the nation.'

According to her, the Fashola administration has taken several measures to improve the quality of education in the state and in public schools in particular to make the products compete favourably with their colleagues.

Sosan listed the intervention of Fashola administration in the education sector to include infrastructure renewal, establishment of new schools, and provision of facilities, regular training and improved welfare package for teachers, free textbooks, payment of examination fees for students in public schools, supervision for quality control.

'Another major step taken by our administration to revamp the education sector is the Save our Soul programme, under the Support Our School Initiative (SOS) instituted by the current administration. This programme was introduced to attract private sector participation in the education sector thereby complementing government efforts,' Sosan noted.

The deputy governor revealed that not less than 200 individuals and organizations have keyed into the scheme with investment portfolio for 2010 at about N400million stressing that the state government has not gotten to the destination of its dream in the education sector.

She expressed delight that Etisalat has remained its partner in progress and that aside the 11 classrooms provided in the commissioned school, the communication firm has also constructed a block of six classrooms in Rabiatu Thompson School in Surulere, upgraded the toilet facility at Akande Dahunsi Memorial School, Ikoyi.

Sosan said the reconstructed schools would promote academic excellence in the state and implored other organizations to support schools by emulating the Etisalat gesture. The Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Steven Evans said the firm believe in the provision of support for the community and under the Adopt-a-School initiative, it selected three schools.

Evan added:'Edward Blyden Memorial Primary School hitherto considered as the worst in terms of structure, is what we all have here behold today. We believe this is a lasting legacy that will be fondly remembered by the pupils of the school'.

The Etisalat boss, who listed the two other schools, stressed that they benefitted in the provision of upgraded infrastructure and noted that they have further plans to provide support in areas like infrastructure, leadership/management and direct assistance to students and teachers' development.

He disclosed that Etisalat has instituted a merit award scheme that includes scholarship for university students with highest CGPA in Electrical Electronics Engineering, Computer Science and Management while 450 students have benefited across the country.

Evan revealed that Etisalat CSR thrives on three tripods which are education, health and environment and hoped the new structure provided would have immense benefits for existing and potential pupils of Edward Blyben Memorial Primary School. The Head Teacher of the school, Mrs. Ngozi Egbuna, lauded the good gesture by Etisalat and pledged that staff and students would make the best use of the reconstructed school while the pupils in appreciation entertained guests with songs and dance.