By Taiwo Okanlawon
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 move is 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.
According to the Founder and Proprietor of the School In The Street, Mr. Olakunle Sanni, 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 centre was initiated as a way to bring the 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, 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 providing the mobile school but 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, 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 colleagues presented teaching and learning materials to the centre while assuring the centre of Lagos State Government commitment to always providing 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, 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 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 beneficiaries while promising them of their support within their different capacity and areas of work.
Mrs Fatima Abegumde-Yakubu, School In The Street’s Administration Officer 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. Abegumde-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.