As part of plans to commemorate the 2019 World Literacy Day, JAKIN NGO has kitted over 500 primary and secondary school students for the new academic session which commenced on Monday.
Speaking during its 10th annual ‘Dress a Child for School Project’ in Lagos recently, the President, Mrs. Bukola Adebiyi said the idea behind the project was to ensure that vulnerable children are not disadvantaged when they resume for the new academic session, as this will not only relief parents of extra expenses, but will aid in eradicating illiteracy in Nigeria.
“Over 500 children, including 255 males and 245 females across nine local government areas in Lagos State are beneficiaries of the project. 234 are in primary schools, while 266 are in secondary schools.
“This is a programme we started in 2010 because we spotted the inability of poor parents to kit their wards for school and this was also telling on the education of the children. We started with 200 orphans and vulnerable children across government primary and secondary schools in Lagos. With the help of our dependable and committed partners, this number has grown yearly from the initial 200 to 3,750 orphans and vulnerable children with this 10th edition.”
Adebiyi added: “Partners like Falcon, the Gamesville Foundation, Blue Gate, Maryland Mall, Mariteam, School kits, First Bank Insurance, Robert Johnson Holdings, and IJI, have been of immense support to this project; and together, we are making the dreams of our children come true.”
She said the school kits include two uniforms, a school bag, one pair of sandals, two pairs of socks, a dozen of exercise books, a mathematical set for secondary school students only, and branded pencils.
In her remarks, the state Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo described the move as a welcome development as it is in line with the state government’s drive to boost the education sector.
“Lagos State is bringing in initiatives in the education sector that will discourage parents from admitting their children into private schools,” she said, adding that it is important that children are trained to enable them speak both English and indigenous languages.
“We are doing well in the area of education. We want our people to believe in us such that they will know we are extremely competitive; hence there will be no need for parents to take their children to private schools. We need the communities to work with us as well. People like us went to public schools and we did well enough which is what we are trying to recreate.”
A parent, Mrs. Bunmi Jegbati, whose children have been benefiting from the initiative since the past three years, commended the NGO for assisting parents to ensure that children are educated.
“The NGO is trying; annually they give out school items to children especially in September when children are set to go back to school. Many of us find it difficult to pull funds together to kit our children. But this assistance has made things easier,” she said.