The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Folasade T.Ogunsola, FAS on Friday, February 10 2023 continued her familiarisation tour of the University when she visited the University of Lagos Staff School, University of Lagos Women Society School (ULWS) and the International School, Lagos(ISL).
The visit to the schools had the leadership, staff, and students come out in their numbers to give a rousing welcome to the Vice-Chancellor and her entourage.
She and her team were serenaded with music, exciting performances, and bouquets of flower presented by the students on their arrival at each of the schools.
At the International School, the Chairman of the Board, Prof. Ngozi Osarenren, in her welcome remarks, expressed appreciation to the Vice-Chancellor for deeming it important to interact with staff and students. She described her latest visit as a ‘home-coming’ having served in the past at the school as a member of the Parents-Teachers Association.
In the same vein, the Principal of the School, Mr.Amusan affirmed that the school has remained a citadel with rich tradition of academic excellence, as evident in the recent performance of their students in the West African School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) examinations. According to him, 10 out of the students of the school who recently participated in JAMB scored above 300 in the 2022 examinations.
He also mentioned the success of the school in sports, where it emerged winner of the Maltina School Athletics Games in 2021 and 2022 respectively. According to him, the competition afforded the students of the school international exposure to compete with counterparts across the world in the last InternationalSchool Federation games which were held in May 2022 in France. He pointed out that the school has become a talent factory as evident in the success stories.
He averred that the achievements recorded by the school are part of the legacy handed down to them by the visionary leadership of their predecessors through their dedication and has continued to inspire them always. In his words, “We are not relenting at all to ensure that we remain a most sought-after school by parents/guardians for their children’s pre-tertiary education”.
On the Alumni, he stressed how the school have garnered all its energy into training and nurturing the next generation of global leaders. According to him, “Our Alumni all over the world have excelled in all facets of life. Many of them have gone on to impact society just like Mrs. Kemi Badenochwho contested for the position of Prime Minister in the United Kingdom. She is currently a Minister for Women and Equity in the United Kingdom”.
At the Staff School, the Board Chairman, Professor Adebayo Ladipo, was represented by Prof. T.V Bakare.In her address, she gave a brief history of the school which is traceable back to the request of the University’s Provisional Council to the Federal Ministry of Education in 1966, to have a school established to service the children of the university staff.
Prof. Bakare affirmed that the school today has grown to become a successful venture, as many of the school’s products proceed to their sister institution, the International School Lagos, ISL, to continue their education and invariably land in the University of Lagos to complete their academic career.
However, a concern shared at both the ISL and the UNILAG Staff School is the state of infrastructure in the schools.
The Principal of the International School used the medium to request urgent improvement on infrastructure so that the college will continue to be the best. The provision of furniture, purchase of about 250 units of computers, accommodation for staff on campus, refurbishment of the school, purchase of a Coaster Bus, and the installation of CCTV cameras within the school premises are of the infrastructure needs of the school that he identified.
Similarly, Dr. Juliet Ajayi, Headmistress of the Staff School bemoaned the state of existing facilities in the school. She asserted that it is grossly inadequate for the pupils and called for an urgent upgrade. Short staffing, teaching staff stagnation and financial challenges were some of the other things she called the attention of the Vice-Chancellor to.
While the leadership of both schools raised concerns about the Minimum Wage arrears and teaching staff stagnation which was pegged at grade level 12 until recently, they pleaded with the authority of the University to help make the necessary adjustments noting that having staff welfare packages incoherent with their promotion status could be highly de-motivating, especially for those at the brink of retirement.
The Headmistress also urged the Vice-Chancellor to reconsider the delicate issue of school fee increments at the staff school. A fair increment, according to her, will put the school in a better financial position and aids its ability to execute necessary development initiatives.
A visibly delighted Professor Ogunsola, in her response, assured the respective school authorities that their very similar concerns will be attended to.
She expressed joy with regards the level of development that has been done in the schools and called for patience in addressing those needs that were outside the purview of the institution’s management, like staff employment and salary arrears. She gave the assurance that they will be addressed.
While pointing out her love on the achievements made by the schools thus far, the Vice-Chancellor shared some of her ideas, like seeking private–public collaboration to solving the infrastructural deficit as enumerated by the schools.
In her words: “We are not going to look away from the state of the schools and its problems. We will ensure that we put your concerns forward to some donors of the University and hope that they come forward to help out in this regard”.
On the issue around the salary structure of the teaching staff of the school, Prof. Ogunsola asserted that soonest, the “coast will be clear” about the subject. She enumerated some of the reasons behind the delay even though it has been reviewed but is yet to reflect in their current salary grade level.
The Vice-Chancellor also made clarifications on staff accommodation and admission for the wards of staff members among other issues.
The tour of the schools by the Vice-Chancellor was rounded off at the UNILAG Women’s Society where some of the concerns of the privately-owned school were also pushed forward to the Vice-Chancellor by the President of the Society, Dr (Mrs). Taiwo Folasade Ipaye.
At the end of the visit, the leadership of the respective schools presented gifts to Vice-Chancellor and took group photographs.
The visit to the schools was the first official visit of the Vice-Chancellor since her resumption into office in November 2022.