27 January 2015, Lagos – Poised to improve the learning environment of public schools across Lagos State, through the provision of constant power supply, the Lagos State Government, has finalised plans to install about 172 solar panels to light-up the schools.
Kick-starting the initiative, Governor Babatunde Fashola, last week, installed the first solar panel at Model College, Meiran, promising to replicate the installation of such solar panels across public schools in the state.
Speaking at the inauguration, Fashola held that in East Africa, especially Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia, which experience similar epileptic power supply like Nigeria, solar panels have provided electricity supply for their people because they invested massively in them.
Noting that the new initiative is a planned and an organized approach to resuscitating education from its challenges, the governor said the school would now be powered by renewable energy with very reliable maintenance and would serve the College for the next 25 years.
Fashola said: “We have done the one for the Epe Health Centre last week. We are flagging-off today, the first one of the 172 schools that are in the first phase. Apart from the fact that the world is moving on and the ability of Nigeria to leapfrog with technology is dependent on technology and electricity.
“That one can buy all of the technology in the world and connect to the internet or the hotspot but what is uppermost is how to get electricity to power it. But as you may have heard from our opponent in this election, they claim that they would connect us to hotspots but they have not told you how to have power which is the primary responsibility that they have as a party in charge of the Federal Government.
“We are deploying solar panels to all schools in Lagos state by strategic partnership, they complain about debts but this is what that money does. This is the investment and 172 schools in the first phase would get this. You have seen the digital library that we have created and there are tablets powered directly from the sun and stored in inverters and batteries here.”
Fashola added that “Over 50 percent of people now say they prefer their children to attend public schools at primary school, while over 60 percent say that they prefer them in public secondary schools compared to the number available before.
“That is progress. Progress is not an overnight thing, it is a journey planned. So, that is where we are. The next step now is how we can improve on that. We think technology would help but the technological equipment is of no use without electricity and so they now have electricity for daytime use, they also have electricity for night time use because this is also a boarding school.”
Also speaking, the General Manager of Eko Electricity Project, Mrs Damilola Ogunbiyi, said the facility would give the pupils improved access to the internet.
Ogunbiyi said that the facility which has been provided in conjunction with EKO Project would serve as an outdoor resource room where all the pupils are able to have all their textbooks on a tablet and can also go online to check different things and different books.
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