A new mobile literacy and vocational Centre for street and out of school children/youths commenced class yesterday, Thursday, April 29, 2021, in Ikorodu area of Lagos State.
The container model mobile literacy centre located opposite the Sabo Power Station inward Ikorodu garage is the brainchild of School In The Street (SITS), a nonprofit tuition-free school concerned about the education of street children/youths, and headed by its Founder and Chief Learning Officer, Mr. Olakunle Sanni.
Speaking during his opening remark, Olakunle Sanni said it took School In The Street about three years of operating the school to be able to get to this state and hope to improve on what has now been achieved.
“As part of efforts to ensure children and young people have access to basic education and as well acquire vocational skills even while living and/or working on the street, the opening of this mobile centre is a landmark achievement and first of its kind in Lagos, if not all over Nigeria.”
Olakunle added that the mobile centre helps to bring the school closer to street children/youths wherever they are 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, Honourable Babajimi Benson, Founder of iCARE Foundation, ably represented by Mr. Taiwo Odumbo, appreciated the organisers for deeming it necessary to bring education closer to children and young people on the street of Ikorodu as this will help to reshape their minds and make them contribute positively to the society. Mr. Odumbo added that Hon. Babajimi Benson is not stopping at just facilitating the mobile centre but committed to supporting other basic needs so that the centre can make 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, 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 along with her colleagues presented teaching and learning materials meant for the centre to the street children children and youths present while assuring them of Lagos State Government commitment to always provide the 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.
Mr. Olusegun Sojirin, Coordinator of PDSS (POLICE DUTY SOLICITOR SCHEME) 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 Abassadors 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 students while promising them of their support within their different capacity and areas of work.
On behalf of the School In The Street Management Board, Mrs Fatima Abegumde-Yakubu, the Director of Administration in a closing remark thanked all the guests for honoring the invitation and promised on behalf of the street children/youths to make best use of the facility. Mrs. Abegunde-Yakubu reminded everyone that the centre is not just to provide literacy but offer vocational skills to street children and youths. Therefore, she 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.