FG seeks land for expansion of Queen’s College, Lagos

The Federal Government is working out modalities to acquire a piece of land for use as an annex of Queen’s College, Lagos, the Head of Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita, has said.

Oyo-Ita made the disclosure at the unveiling of the vision of the Principal of Queen’s College, Dr. Lamu Amodu, on Friday in Lagos.

The theme of the vision is: “Rekindling the Torch of Excellence.”

According to Oyo-Ita, the purpose for establishing an annex for the college is to create more space for effective teaching and learning as well as skills acquisition.

Oyo-Ita said: “I am aware that the vision of the principal of this college is borne out of commitment, interest and desire to revamp the standard and quality of education given to our students to be in line with modern day labour demands.

“The development will also reposition the college to its enviable pitch in academic performance.

“In our time, we were fewer in number but at present, the large student population without corresponding increase in infrastructure implies extra cost and hard work for high standard to be sustained.

“It is therefore in this light that on my own as the Head of Service of the Federation will support the Federal Ministry of Education with the cooperation of the Ministries of Lands and Urban Development and others relevant to acquire an annex for the college.

“This is a step in actualising part of the noble vision and other identified projects of the college’s principal.”

Oyo-Ita lauded the Australian High Commission in Nigeria for keying into the vision by constructing and donating a solar powered water system to the college.

The head of service called for more partnerships from the public to encourage girl-child education in the country.

Amodu noted that her vision was to prepare and equip graduate versatile women who would succeed in the ever changing and competitive world in their chosen professions.

She said the purpose of the annex was not to over crowd the college, rather it was to provide enabling environment for effective teaching of the trade subjects which were key to the college’s vision.

She said: “The annex will house an entrepreneurship centre for hands-on training for girls as we also look at providing a befitting staff quarters for our teachers.”

She added that such was one of the visions of the founding fathers of the college.

Amodu said: “The demands of our society and the modern labour market have begun to challenge our definition of quality education given to our students.

“A lot more emphasis is placed today on skills acquisition and entrepreneurship, consequently, our concept of quality education needs to change to align with the new reality of growing societal needs.

“To this end, for a more strategic planning, comprehensive approach and renewed direction which are the guiding principles of this vision becomes imperative.

“However, the implementation of this vision may not be easy for the government to fund, especially at this time of economic recession.

“Our strategy therefore, is to reach out to individuals and corporate organisations with similar culture of excellence, and have benefitted from the qualitative services of the products of our college to key in.”

She added that her vision had already received the backing of the Federal Government.

Meanwhile, Prof. Oladapo Afolabi, a former Head of Service of the Federation, restated the need for the re-introduction of History as a subject in the education curriculum.

According to Afolabi, who chaired the occasion, a subject such as history will seek to bridge the gap between the old and new generations.

He added that on re-introducing history, experts must ensure that it was a balance of both ancient and contemporary, so that the children would know where they are coming from.

Afolabi said: “We must not focus all our attention on the physical but rather also reflect on those who had at one time or the other, made various sacrifices in an attempt to develop the college.

“However, it is regrettable that no sustainable funding arrangement is usually put in place to keep all these visions and dreams alive.”

The high point of the event was the award of excellence to deserving old girls of the college who had excelled in their respective areas of endeavour.

Some of them inducted into the college’s Hall of Fame are Oyo-Ita, Efunjoke Coker and Prof. Grace Alele Williams.

The former Minister of Education, Prof. Chinwe Obaji, and Prof. Folashade Ogunshola of the UNILAG College of Medicine were among the inductees.

The event witnessed the inauguration of the solar powered water system donated by the Australian High Commission.

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