Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has handed over 231 newly completed classrooms spread across 30 public primary schools in Oyo State.
Also handed over at Monday’s ceremony, held at St Luke’s Demonstration School, Molete, Ibadan, were two staff rooms, 218 toilet booths, 231 chalkboards, 3,900 pupils’ desks and benches, 209 teachers’ tables and chairs, costing about N2 billion.
Speaking at the ceremony, Ambassador of Japan, Mr Sadanobu Kusaoke, said the project, was aimed at reducing the number of pupils in classrooms and improving educational facilities in Oyo State.
That, Kusaoke said was in line with JICA’s project priority areas like the provision of infrastructure, social development, empowerment of people, creation of jobs and diversification of the economy.
Kusaoke acknowledged the enthusiasm and support of the Oyo State government for the agency in ensuring the successful completion of the project, in just over a year.
Chief Representative, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Nigeria Office, Mr Hirotaka Nakamura, added that the agency’s support for Oyo State also transcended investments in education to rural water supply and training programmes.
Performing the ceremonial cutting of the tape, Oyo State governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, said the project completion epitomised the state government’s principle of public-private partnership in education.
Saluting JICA for the choice of the state for the project, Ajimobi noted that the development met the need to address deterioration in school infrastructure and poor standard of education in the state.
He reiterated that government alone could not handle the vast needs of the education sector of the state, calling for the involvement of well-meaning individuals and organisations.
Ajimobi said the state government was undaunted in repositioning education in the state regardless opposition.
Minister of Education, Mr Adamu Adamu represented by deputy director, basic education, Federal Ministry of Education, Mrs Opeyemi Ariba, noted that JICA’s commitment to improving educational infrastructure was in line with Federal Government’s commitment to enhancing teaching and learning.
He harped on the need for the benefitting pupils to make good of the facilities provided, and also be good ambassadors of the country.
A Japanese based indigene of Oyo State, who facilitated the siting of the project in his home state, Mr Bobby Ologun, harped on the need for maintenance culture so that the Japanese investment would not be in vain.
Some of the other benefiting primary schools were Islamic Mission Primary School, Moniya; St Augustine Primary School, Akinsawe; St David’s Primary School, Agboyin; Ratibi Moslem Primary School, Odinjo; and Methodist Primary School, Oke-Odo, Igboora.
Other personalities at the event included, Deputy governor, Mr Moses Adeyemo; the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji; Secretary to the state government, Mr Olalekan Alli; Head of Service, Mr Soji Eniade; Executive Secretary, Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Mrs L. B. Eniola; Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Professor Adeniyi Olowofela and other members of the state executive council.