by Yemi Olowu
“….a Lagos where every student and teacher has access to the technology and tools to be the best …a Lagos that is mine, yours, our responsibility…”
iSeeLagos, ISL, is a non-governmental initiative which calls out to all Lagosians, wherever you are in the world, to join in a collective envisioning of Lagos. As a geographical space, Lagos is a place filled with hopes and dreams. iSeeLagos is a challenge to all those who truly believe in the future of this great city to envision great things through expression and networking.
Over the next two years ISL is going to be working on five Major projects, the projects will cover four areas of interest. They are environment, employment, education and health. ISL Libraries is the first project to be carried out in the first quarter of 2012. They plan to build 10 Libraries for 10 deserving public schools in Lagos States.
YNaija spoke to Remilekun Owadokun, Head of Projects ISL:
So why did the ISL decide on a library project?
Students in public schools can hardly afford books, the least we can do is give them access to these books. Like the saying, “Today’s readers are tomorrow’s leaders”. We want to improve the reading culture of the Nigerian Youth and contribute to the Educational sector.
How do you plan to achieve this?
We’ll select 20 schools from 20 Local government areas in Lagos State. The 20 schools will be selected together with the help of the Honorable Commissioner of Education. We’ve chosen Agege, Ajeromi-ifelodun, Alimosho, Amuwo-odofin, Apapa, Badagary, Epe, Eti-osa, Ibeju-lekki, Ikeja, Ikorodu, Kosofe, Lagos Mainland, Lagos Island, Mushin, Oshodi-isolo, Ojo, Somolu, Surulere and Ifako-ijaiye as the 20 Local Government Areas. Once the schools are selected, we are going to visit them and ask that they fulfill certain requirements in order to participate in the competition.
What are the requirements needed to set up a library?
1. Set up a Library Committee made up of teachers and students.
– The library committee will prepare the rules for the library, opening and closing hours, they will appoint the library monitors and will come up with a schedule on how the Library will be run and maintained.
2. Select Library monitors:
– The Library monitors are volunteer students who will help maintain the library, i.e. repair damaged books, arrange the books in the library in the correct order, help clean the library and also encourage students to visit the Library.
3. Elect a library prefect:
– The School will have to elect a library prefect, who will be responsible to ensure that the rules set up by the committee is being adhered to and that the library is well-managed.
4. Start a Library Club:
– A library club must be set up in order to ensure that the books in the library are not just there, but that the books are used by the students.
5. Prepare a presentation. “ Why we deserve a Library”:
– The committee will be expected to prepare a document to us, telling us
· Why they deserve the library.
· What impact the Library will have on the school.
· How they will encourage students to use the library
· How they expect to maintain the Library.
· What guidelines they intend to use.
The representatives of each school will make a presentation to a panel of judges and the 10 best schools will be selected. The Library will be made from containers, well furnished and equipped with at least 5,000 resourceful materials such as, books, magazines and journals.
Apart from providing access to books what other goals do you hope to achieve?
For those who attended public schools, those that know people who attended public schools, those who have kids in public schools and even some private schools can testify of the lack of libraries. We see a Lagos where every student and teacher has access to the technology and tools to be the best. A Lagos that is mine, yours and our responsibility.
How do you intend to fund this project and keep the library up to date?
In order to give the school all that it needs, we will be depending solely on generous contributions from Lagosians. We are making a call to everyone and anyone within Lagos to please donate new or used books, magazines, and any resourceful material to us. There are people out there who still have books from when they were in High school, or books that belong to your children that they’ve outgrown and don’t know what to do with it, we need them. There are also people out there who can afford to get us books, there are also people who can get us just one book, we need all.
YNaija is a media partner for iSeeLagos.