Alumni target N250m for repairs

In preparation for the 70th anniversary of Ijebu Muslim College, Ijebu Ode, in January, the Ijebu Muslim College Old Students Association (IMCOSA) is hoping to add N250 million to the N50 million it has raised for the school’s infrastructural development.

Chairman of the 70th anniversary committee, Sir Ben Oshadiya, said at a fundraising by the association last Sunday that the money would be used to rehabilitate the Old School Assembly Hall (N30m); construct a 1,200-seater dining hall (N125m) and four bungalows of 12 self-contained flats in the staff quarters (N100m).

Others are: rehabilitation of the school road network (N40m), andold classroom blocks in addition to construction of good drainage.

Occupying over 50 acres of land in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, the school was founded on January 27, 1950, by the Ijebu Muslim Community, to cater for needs of members’ childrens.

The school started off as a boy’s only school with 60 boys and became co-educational in 1965. It moved from its old site at Olisa Street, Ijebu-Ode to its expansive site along the Ijebu Muslim College Road in 1953.  The school presently has over 4,000 pupils.

Oshadiya said in the last 40 years, the school suffered neglect by the Ogun State Government which took over the school.

“By the time the school attained the age of 40years, the situation had really become very appalling. Decayed infrastructure everywhere and the student population had more than doubled to over 2,000.  Therefore, there was acute shortage of accommodation with each classroom then having more than 120 students,” he said.

With such appalling state of the school, he said the IMCOSA intervened and had been consistent in supporting the school.

He noted that the school had also enjoyed support of various corporate organisations who donated computer centres, e-library, classroom block, and a modern science laboratory, which is under construction.

IMCOSA National President, Kayode Sote explained that the school has withstood the challenges prevalent in the nation’s s education sector and has remained a powerhouse of knowledge and wisdom.

He added that the fundraising was in honour of the school’s founding fathers who were pioneers of western education for the Muslim youths in Ijebu, and also to support the government in providing qualitative education.

Also speaking, a lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication, University of Lagos, Dr Fassy Yusuf, said politics was the bane of educational development in Nigeria.

He said free education lacks qualitative teaching and as such, parents are supposed to pay for their wards no matter how minimal. He noted that there was need for government to put a strategy in place that would guarantee that the poor have access to education and device a means of payment.

“No matter what, parents must be involved in education.  Also students should be able to have access to loans if their parents cannot further their education. Then their certificates would serve as collateral for education banks that would ensure the money is paid back,” he said.

The Managing Director of News Agency of Nigeria,  Mr Bayo Onanuga, bemoaned the poor state of the sector, noting that rigorous standard of recruiting teachers at all levels should be adopted.

He advised alumni associations to invest beyond infrastructures and be more involved with content and quality of education provided in schools.

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