As part of the efforts to ensure that children and young people on the street, have access to basic education and as well acquire vocational skills, ‘School In The Street’, a non-profit – tuition-free educational centre, in partnership with Lagos State Agency for Mass Education, has opened its first mobile literacy and vocational centre in Ikorodu.
The opening of the centre during the week was described by the Founder and Proprietor of the ‘School In The Street’, Mr. Olakunle Sanni, as a landmark achievement and first of its kind in Lagos, if not all over Nigeria.
Olakunle added that the centre was initiated as a way of bringing school closer to street children/youths and as well provide learning opportunities to those among them who may have never attended school or not been able to complete basic education.
In addition, the centre offers them the chance to acquire vocational skills.
While performing the official opening of the centre, Hon. Babajimi Benson, the Founder of iCARE Foundation, appreciated the organisers for deeming it necessary to bring education closer to children and young people on the street of Ikorodu, stating that this will help to reshape their minds and make them contribute positively to the society.
The lawmaker was represented by Mr. Taiwo Odumbo, the Principal, Lagos State University International School, Ojo.
Hon. Benson said that he would not be stopping at just providing the mobile school but also committed to supporting other basic needs so that the centre can make a meaningful impact in the lives of the beneficiaries.
In her remark, the Director of Lagos State Agency for Mass Education, Mrs Oluwakemi Kanlesanwo, who was represented by Mrs. Ibukunoluwa Seriki, Head of Department (HOD), Mass Literacy, encouraged the street children and youths to attend classes regularly and participate well in all that they are being taught because the agency will come regularly to check on them.
Mrs. Seriki, alongside her colleagues, presented teaching and learning materials to the centre while assuring the centre of Lagos State Government’s commitment towards regular provision of materials whenever they are needed and requested for.
She also appreciated Hon. Babajimi Benson and iCARE Foundation for the huge support in making the mobile centre not just a dream but a reality.
Mrs Fatima Abegunde-Yakubu, School In The Street’s Administration Officer, in her remark, promised on behalf of the street children/youths, to make best use of the facility.
She also said that the centre is not just to provide literacy but also offer vocational skills to street children and youths.
She also used the medium to invite individuals and organisations whose focus is haircutting, soap making, cream production, craft making etc., to come and support or partner with School In The Street.
Also, Mr. Olusegun Sojirin, Chairman NBA Ikorodu branch; Mrs. Tessy Ojeikere, Coordinator of Domestic Violence, Child Rights and Persons Living with Disabilities Committee, NBA Ikorodu Branch; Mr. Lateef Akinborode, Deputy Coordinator Child Protection Network Lagos; Mr. Rasheed Fatuga, Founder Ikorodu Ambassadors Group; and Mr. Abiodun Alabi, Project Manager Street Medicine Network, all of whom were also present at the unique occasion, used the opportunity to counsel the beneficiaries while also promising them their support within their different capacity and areas of work.