The educational ambition of indigent Students of Mushin Constituency I in Lagos State were during the week given a push by their lawmaker and former Deputy Speaker, Hon Funmi Tojuosho, reports Paul Yovo
Wednesday 24 June, 2015 was a day of Joy for residents of Odi-Olowo Local Council Development Area, LCDA of Lagos State.
Hon Mrs Funmilayo Tejuosho, a member representing Mushin Constituency 1 in the Lagos State House of Assembly was awarding free General Certificate Examination, GCE forms to indigent Secondary School students in the constituency.
As early as 9.00 am, deserving students, parents, Chieftains and members of the All Progressives Congress, APC had filled Ilupeju Recreation Centre, venue of the event. Clad in school uniforms of their respective schools, the benefiting students beaming with smiles sat on both wings of the hall close to the dignitary pavilion.
They were cynosures of all eyes as their playmates , parents and other invited guests intermittently hailed them. Tejuosho, a ranking lawmaker in the Assembly has been representing the constituency since 2003. She was a former deputy speaker.
In his opening address, Alhaji Rasaq Amao, Vice- Chairman of the APC in Odi-Olowo hailed the lawmaker’s gesture urging the beneficiaries and their parents including party faithful to inform the constituency of the act. Amao who noted that Tejuosho had been intervening on so many educational concerns like donation of school bags and shoes for pupils; vocational training empowerment for unemployed youths among others lamented that most of the initiatives had gone unpublicized. The APC chief attributed the ‘non publicizing’ Tejuosho’s good deeds to her Christianity belief which admonishes that favour extended to fellow humans should not be made public.
“She has been doing a lot about education but they are hardly publicized. In the past, she had given out school bags, shoes for indigent primary and secondary schools pupils in the constituency. Many have been empowered with vocational skills”, Amao noted.
Hon Tejuosho , while addressing the gathering disclosed that she had unusual passion for education describing education as the foundation of success. According to the former deputy speaker of Lagos Assembly, she would not have attained an enviable status in the society if she had not got qualitative education. In an apparent move to challenge the pupils for academic excellence, Tejuosho told revealed that she had started her PhD programme .
On why most of her intervention programmes had gone unpublicized in the past, the fourth term lawmaker explained that she took after her late father who according to her harbored publicity of favours extended to others. “I don’t like publicizing and keeping records of good deeds I do and people I assist. I learnt this from my late father.
I remember when my father was alive; people would accost him and reminded him of certain good gestures. He will refrained, ‘ I cannot remember again’”, she recalled. Tejuosho further noted that the award of GCE forms was part of her electoral campaign promises to the people of the constituency adding that she will likewise donate free JAMB forms in due course. She also promised the constituency that in no distance future a Secondary School would be built around Fadeyi area of the Council to encourage more enrolment of pupils.
“During the elections, I made a lot of promises to constituents. They know me for fulfilling my promises. I promised to continue to buy General Certificate Examination, GCE, Joint Admission Matriculation Board, JAMB forms for the deserving students and pay for their school fees. On the 27 May, we had children day party for them because we believe in the children. We must celebrate children.
It is not enough to talk them, it is as well important to let them know that they are loved and cared for”, Tejuosho stressed. She continued, “We are contributing to the future of these children. A lot of them are brilliant but their parents cannot afford to buy them forms. So I volunteered to do it. I pray they succeed. “We have organized tutorial classes for them that will help them to excel in their examination. They must put extra effort. In our constituency, some of our students have been winning spelling Bee competition, some of them have become one day Governor”. While emphasizing the importance of western education, Tejuosho charged the students to ensure they gain mastery of the Yoruba language. “They should not only speak English but also speak Yoruba perfectly. You will recall I moved a motion that lawmakers must use Yoruba to conduct the business of the day at the House of Assembly every Thursday.
The Nigerian Union of Teachers, NUT Chairman in Odi-Olowo , Mrs Florence Adewara commended her for supporting the indigent students in the community. The Union leader charged parents to look after their children and not adjudicate their duties to teachers. Adewara urged the lawmaker to further publicize her activities in the constituency to counter wrong notions held by majority of the people that she had not been empowering her constituents.
In the same manner, the Education Secretary in the council, Mrs Akinmade also testified to various intervention programmes of Tejuosho in the constituency. ‘She has been very supportive of serious children”, Akinmade noted. The Council scribe urged the beneficiaries of the GCE awards to be committed to their studies. Jimoh Toheed, a SS 3 student of Estates Senior School who spoke with The UNION expressed gratitude for the gesture promising not to let down her benefactor. “I feel happy and promised not to let he (Hon Tejuosho) down. I want to encourage other students to be hardworking”. Another student, Bankole Esther Odunayo, of Proteus Group of Schools said, “I am so grateful for what she has done. Though I attend a private school but my father said he does not have money to buy the form”.