EKSG rolls out N30m for needy students, renovates schools with N641m

By Ologeh Joseph Chibu

.First Lady Urges Students to Justify Investment

Wife of Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Olayemi Oyebanji, has urged students of public secondary schools to work harder for a greater future.

Mrs Oyebaji also asked the students to come out in brighter colours as a way to justify the huge investment of the state government in them.

She gave the advice at the weekend while performing the official flag-off of the disbursement of financial support to indigent students and the disbursement of funds for the second phase of the mass renovation of public secondary schools in the state.

Addressing the students many of whom attended the flag-off ceremony held at Lady Jibowu Hall, Government House, Ado Ekiti, the Governor’s wife said the gesture was one of the many strategies of the State Government to retain school-age children in school and also ensure that no child is out of school.

Under the scheme supported by the World Bank-assisted Adolescent Girls’ Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE), about N30 million was disbursed to 2,808 indigent students with those in senior secondary school receiving N25,000 while beneficiaries in junior secondary school getting N20,000.

Also, seven public secondary schools received cheques totalling N641 million to renovate facilities like administrative blocks, laboratory facilities, hostels, classrooms, libraries, sporting facilities, among others for the comfort of students, teachers and other staff.

The benefitting schools are Doherty Memorial Grammar School, Ijero Ekiti; Ayede Grammar School, Ayede Ekiti; Egbeoba High School, Ikole Ekiti; Eyemote Comprehensive High School, Iyin Ekiti; Ilejemeje Community High School, Iye Ekiti; Ise Comprehensive High School, Ise Ekiti and Ileowuro High School, Agbado Ekiti.

Congratulating the students who have met the eligibility criteria for this first cohort of financial support for the 2023/2024 academic session, Dr. Oyebanji encouraged them to seize the opportunity to strive for excellence with the understanding that “education is not just about acquiring knowledge but also about developing the skills and resilience needed.”

The accounts of the 2,808 beneficiaries, the first cohort, were credited and they received their ATM cards to access the support funds. They ar expected to receive the fund in three tranches. The condition for its continuity is retention in school.

The First Lady explained that the gesture reaffirmed the Oyebanji Administration’s commitment to the provision of access to quality education for all school-age children and to further strengthen the free and compulsory education programme for primary and secondary school students in the state.

She said: “The government is committed to regular payment of salaries to our teachers, renovation of old school buildings, release of running grants to each school, payment of WAEC/SSCE fees, provision of ICT facilities and capacity building of our teachers.

“In addition, the State Government also takes care of vulnerable students to ensure they attend classes and complete their education. Identified vulnerable students are taken away from hostile environments and lodged in boarding facilities to enable them access good quality education without hindrance.

“It is one of the many strategies of the State Government to retain school-age children in school and also ensure that no child is out of school. Ekiti state prides itself as the State with the second lowest data on out-of-school children and we intend to bring the data as close to zero as possible.”

Dr. Oyebanji recalled that N916 million was disbursed to ten schools last year for renovation in ten local government areas expressing delight that the exercise has reached completion stage in the benefitting schools.

Representatives of the State Executive Council, Council of Traditional Rulers, State Universal Basic Education Board, Elders’ Forum, Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools, Alumni Associations, Youth Parliament and Children’s Parliament delivered goodwill messages and hailed the state government’s giant strides in education sector.

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