The Oyo State Government in partnership with ipNX, one of the foremost internet service providers in Nigeria; has successfully commissioned the “Oyo State Internet for Schools initiative”. The commissioning took place on the 8th of October, 2020. The goal of this initiative is to make internet connectivity available to all the State-owned schools to facilitate e-learning, enable fast communication and collaboration for students and teachers of these schools.
The internet facilities were installed in two State-owned schools: Bishop Philips Academy, and Government College, Apata. These two schools were selected as the pilot phase of the program, while plans to expand to other schools in the State are in place.
The event which held at Government College Ibadan, commenced at 12pm prompt. In attendance were the Oyo State Chief of Staff; Chief Bisi Ilaka, the Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Barrister Sunkanmi Olaleye; the Special Assistant on ICT and E-Governance, Mr. Adebayo Akande; the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Alhaja Atere Aminat Bamidele, the Group Executive Director, HR & Corporate Services, ipNX, Folashade Efiong-Bassey; and other representatives of ipNX, as well as Principals and students of the two schools.
The Chief of Staff spoke about the rich history that exists in both schools and how they were perfect for the pilot phase of the program.
The Commissioner for Education reaffirmed the commitment of the Engr. Seyi Makinde’s led administration in ensuring that education is not only delivered within the shores of the classroom but also at home or anywhere else. He stated that the goal is to provide an avenue whereby students at home can watch their teachers teach and assignments can be submitted, and marked by the teachers, with the results and corrections returned to the students on the virtual platforms with the aid of the internet.
The Special Assistant to the Governor on ICT & E-Governance, Mr. Adebayo Akande in his brief remarks announced that the free internet service facility provided in the two schools will expand to other State-owned schools within a short time. The free internet bandwidth provided is up to 10mbps and will last for a period of 5 years. He concluded by urging the students of the two schools to put the internet provided to good use.
According to Group Executive Director, HR & Corporate Services, ipNX, Folashade Efiong-Bassey, “With ipNX’s superior broadband infrastructure, we are providing Oyo State public secondary schools within our path of fibre coverage, with free high-speed internet connectivity to enable thousands of students and teachers appropriate the benefits of technology in the classroom”. She further stated that, “We believe this will facilitate the goals of the State in improving the education, science and technology sectors, which is a vision of the administration of His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde. Moreover, this initiative complements the recent Federal Government intention to implement Zero-rating for education websites as part of efforts to ameliorate the impact of Covid-19 on Nigeria’s education sector.”
The principal of the Government College, Ibadan, Mr. Adewale Oluwole in his welcome address mentioned that the benefits of the internet cannot be over-emphasized, as students and teachers will now have access to current information in text, audio, graphics and video forms on all topics from experts across the globe.
During his closing remarks Mr. Akinwale Akinlolu, the Principal of Bishop Phillips Academy, Monatan, Ibadan, thanked the Oyo State Government and the partnering organisation- ipNX for the project and reiterated that the internet provided came at a time when it was highly needed, and will therefore be used for good.