MTN Foundation as part of its contribution to the development of STEM education that will boost economic growth in Nigeria has handed over and commissioned three fully furnished science and technology laboratories to St. Aquinas College, Akure.
Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, Chairman, MTN Foundation, while speaking at the commissioning ceremony recently in Akure, Ondo State said the importance of education and technology in the development of our nation cannot be overstated.
According to him, Science and Technology play an important role in promoting economies of advanced countries hence the decision by the Foundation to commit huge resources in projects that advance science and technology in the country.
Olufemi Agagu, Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, who represented the Governor of Ondo State, thanked the MTN Foundation for being a pacesetter with the upgraded laboratories, which are critical to the growth of science and engineering.
“The import of the ceremony today is about the future of the students here and future generations of Aquinas College and all our students in general and its impact on science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” Agagu said.
Commenting on MTN Foundation’s support, Adesuyi Olateru-Olagbegi, the worldwide President, Aquinas College, Akure Old Students Association (ACAOSA) thanked MTN for the intervention because the capacity of the school’s laboratories has been stretched enormously due to the increasing number of students, which has necessitated minimal refurbishments in the past.
“However, no refurbishment in equipment, materials, specimens or aesthetics has come anywhere near the wholesale upgrading that been generously affected by the MTN Foundation multimillion naira exercise… and no other school deserves the favour of the upgrade more than ACA whether from the point of view of its historic academic excellence in the sciences and arts or from the point of view of the huge number of ultimate beneficiaries – 2,800, which makes the investment exceedingly valuable as they will serve a high number of students.”
In attendance were the Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Olufemi Agagu who represented the state Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu; Deji of Akure, Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade Aladelusi, Special Adviser on Education to the Ondo State Governor, Wunmi Ilawole, amongst other notable dignitaries.
The intervention by the MTN Foundation include renovation of existing laboratory rooms; installation of laboratory furniture; supply of laboratory equipment & consumables, and installation of solar-powered borehole and alternative power solution.
Earlier in the year, Government Secondary School Owerri also received a full renovation of their chemistry, physics and biology science laboratories. Following a set criterion for the nomination, two other public secondary schools are set to benefit from this project: St Augustine College, Igbuzor, Delta state and Queens College, Lagos. In addition, the MTN Foundation is also undertaking the training of science teachers and laboratory attendants in all selected schools.
MTNF Science & Technology Laboratory Project, an initiative of the MTN Foundation, was conceived to strengthen science and technology education through the remodelling of science laboratories in public secondary schools. Currently in its second phase, the Foundation through the initiative has successfully implemented various projects across over seven public schools across Nigeria.