AKURE/Nigeria: Members of the Old Students Association of Community Comprehensive High School, Ikaram Akoko, in Ondo State, have promised to adopt some indigent pupils of the school for sponsorship.
The ‘adopt a pupil’ initiative was announced by the newly-sworn-in executive of the association, led by its President, Mr Oluwarotimi Williams-Daudu, to help encourage pupils return to school in the community.
Williams-Daudu said this in an interview with newsmen on the sidelines of the celebration of 44th anniversary of the school on Sunday at the school in Ikaram Akoko in the Akoko Northwest of Ondo State.
He said the plan was to encourage any old student to adopt an indigent student and pay the school fees, provide uniforms and books.
The president said the association had also recruited teachers for the school when it discovered that the school had only four teachers, including the Principal and Vice Principals.
He said the classroom blocks being built by the old students would be completed within the next 100 days, which would replace the dilapidated ones.
“We, the old students, are building infrastructure, building classrooms and also see how we can construct the link road to the school.
“We plan to introduce “adopt a child” initiative where an old student will adopt any child that could not pay school fees. We can also adopt those children that are gifted intellectually. We will pay for uniforms and books.
“Many of our members are overseas, we are looking at doing exchange programmes with schools abroad so that our pupils could go overseas and see education from the global perspective.
“Many parents cannot buy books for their children so we are going to be appealing to individuals, donor agencies as well as well established schools to donate books to this school.
“Public schools are totally neglected in this country, governments need to do more to help public education.
“Any act of indiscipline will not be tolerated. If we are showing them a helping hand, the pupils must respond with change to attitude and studies.
“It is wrong for the principal to say the students are not ready. We feel the pain that a once illustrious school is going into the abyss.
“It is a shame that government has abdicated and abandoned its responsibilities. We will not allow things to degenerate,” he said.
The school Principal, Joseph Gbadamosi, called for donation of computers to enable the students embrace Information and Communication Technology.
He said the school needs total renovation as the buildings were still as they were 44 years ago.
Also, Mrs Gloria Momodu, wife of the traditional ruler, Oba Andrew Momodu, the Akala of Ikaram, urged the state government to complement efforts of the old students by providing adequate infrastructure.
Momodu urged the government to, as a matter of urgency, recruit more teachers for the schools to make up for decades of neglects.
Some of the outstanding students in the school were rewarded with gifts like books, uniforms and cash.