On Wednesday, February 8th, 2023, St. Aquinas College, Akure, received a major boost following the handover and commissioning of three fully furnished science and technology laboratories from the MTN Foundation. In attendance were the Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Olufemi Agagu who represented the state Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN; Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade Aladelusi, Special Adviser on Education to the Ondo State Governor, Dr. Wunmi Ilawole, amongst other notable dignitaries.
Representing the Governor of Ondo State, the Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Olufemi Agagu thanked the MTN Foundation for being a pacesetter with the upgraded laboratories, which are critical to the growth of science and engineering. “The import of the ceremony today is about the future of the students here and future generations of Aquinas College and all our students in general and its impact on science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” Agagu said.
In his remarks at the commissioning, Chairman, MTN Foundation, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, OFR, mni said: “The importance of education and technology in the development of our nation cannot be overstated. Science and Technology play an important role in promoting economies of advanced countries hence the decision by the Foundation to commit huge resources in projects that advance science and technology in the country.’’
Commenting on MTN Foundation’s support, the worldwide President, Aquinas College, Akure Old Students Association (ACAOSA) Emeritus Justice Adesuyi Olateru-Olagbegi, thanked MTN for the intervention because the capacity of the school’s laboratories has been stretched enormously due to the increasing number of students, which has necessitated minimal refurbishments in the past. “However, no refurbishment in equipment, materials, specimens or aesthetics has come anywhere near the wholesale upgrading that been generously affected by the MTN Foundation multimillion naira exercise… and no other school deserves the favour of the upgrade more than ACA whether from the point of view of its historic academic excellence in the sciences and arts or from the point of view of the huge number of ultimate beneficiaries – 2,800, which makes the investment exceedingly valuable as they will serve a high number of students.”
The intervention by the MTN Foundation include renovation of existing laboratory rooms; installation of laboratory furniture; supply of laboratory equipment & consumables, and installation of solar-powered borehole and alternative power solution.
Earlier in the year, Government Secondary School Owerri also received a full renovation of their chemistry, physics and biology science laboratories. Following a set criterion for the nomination, two other public secondary schools are set to benefit from this project: St Augustine College, Igbuzor, Delta state and Queens College, Lagos. In addition, the MTN Foundation is also undertaking the training of science teachers and laboratory attendants in all selected schools.
MTNF Science & Technology Laboratory Project, an initiative of the MTN Foundation, was conceived to strengthen science and technology education through the remodelling of science laboratories in public secondary schools. Currently in its second phase, the Foundation through the initiative has successfully implemented various projects across over seven public schools across Nigeria.