‘Eko project, a blessing to Lagos public schools’
Outgoing principal of Ilado Community Senior High School, Ikoyi, Lagos, Richard Olufemi Bejide, has described the Lagos Eko Project as the best initiative ever introduced to give state-own public schools a face-lift.
Bejide, at the twilight of his career spanning 31 years, said that the successes recorded by public schools, particularly Ilado Community Senior High School, were as a result of innovations introduced by the Eko project beginning from 2012.
Bejide, 60, said the project adequately equipped his school and provided the needed workforce, both of which boosted the overall academic performances of its pupils for which the school emerged as the first runner-up of the 2015 African Top Schools Award among schools in the state.
According to the principal, “Things are getting better now because of the introduction of Eko project where government’s financial support helps schools to buy basic teaching aids. Through the project, we were introduced to Information and Communications Technology (ICT), with computers supplied to students. It was never like that. Most important is that we were able to get volunteer teachers in areas where we needed them. They gave us the power to hire teachers for mathematics and English language. That was a rare opportunity in school administration and performance really improved,” he said.
Bejide, who said he led by example, “and all my teachers fall in line gleefully. I come in here every weekday not later then 6 O’clock. Teachers realise that I’m always around, so they are always here on time.
“It is because we are motivated, which came through the Eko project too. They (teachers) were encouraged to work more and the government pays us regularly. From 2012 to 2014 my school has been coming overall second in the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) result, in the whole of Lagos State.”
Born on October 1, 1955, Bejide joined the service as an auxiliary teacher in 1984 after failed attempts to get a job with his master’s degree in Urban Town Planning from Texas Southern University, United States.
After eight years at Oke-Odo High School as commerce teacher, he was transferred to Shasha Community High School as Vice Principal and later, Abesan High School in 1995.
He became deputy principal and was posted to Oke-Odo High School again in 1997. In 2000, he was appointed principal of Idata-Ilagbo High School in Ibeju-Lekki. He was later transferred to Iwerekun Community Senior High School, Lakowe as the principal in 2002.
He was transferred in2008 to Ilado Senior High School.
Going forward, he said while Eko project had served it objectives, he advised the current administration to pay more attention to employing teachers and infrastructural upgrade in the school.
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