Eradicating Poverty Through Education, The Iperu Remo Example

Community, HOME, Uncategorized

By Tope Oyekan 

An appraisal on the activities of the Iperu Remo Education Trust Scheme Management Board

Poverty is described as the state of being extremely poor, a state of being inferior in quality or insufficient in amount.

It is a state or condition in which a person or community lacks the financial resources and essentials for a minimum standard of living.

Poverty-stricken people and families might go without proper housing, clean water, healthy food and medical attention.

Poverty is both an individual concern and a broader social problem.

It refers to the lack of adequate financial resources such that individuals, households, and entire community don’t have the means to subsist or acquire the basic necessities for a flourishing life. This means being so poor as to struggle to obtain food, clothing, shelter, and medical needs.

At the societal level, high poverty rates can be a damper on economic growth and be associated with problems like crime, unemployment, urban decay, education and poor health.
Governments often put social welfare programmes in place to help lift individuals, families, and communities out of poverty.

To pretend that there is no poverty in the land is to say the least, inhuman and inconsiderate.

Statistics from various government and Non-governmental Organizations equally attests to the fact that there are so many people and communities that are ravaged by poverty as they are categorized into various classifications such as the absolute poverty, relative poverty, situational poverty, generational poverty, urban poverty, and rural poverty.

Using urban poverty as a reference. This is specifically tied to living in an urban area. According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), urban poverty refers to the condition of people who lack the resources to secure the minimum necessities of life, including food, clothing, and shelter, in an urban area. The people therein lack access to education, good jobs, and quality healthcare and sanitation, and are faced with poor housing and living conditions.

According to UNDP, there are an estimated 1.4 billion people living in urban areas that are considered to be impoverished. This represents a significant increase from the estimated 400 million people who were living in poverty in 1990.

While urban poverty is a global problem, it is particularly prevalent in developing countries. Infact, according to the World Bank, approximately 60% of the world’s urban poor live in developing countries.

Education on its part, is the formal process of acquiring knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes through structured and organized learning environments, such as schools, colleges, universities, and other educational institutions.

It is derived from the Latin word “educare”, – to bring up, to lead out, to bring forth action or process of educating or of being educated

It is the process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, especially at schools, colleges, or universities, to improve knowledge and develop skills.

It can also be described as the act of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing powers of reasoning and judgement, generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life.

Among the functions of education are socialization, cultural transmission, career selection, and rational thinking.

The social aspect of education is to develop the individual’s ability to contribute positively to the society.
According to John Dewey, education should prepare students for life in a democratic society where they can participate in social change and innovation.
Education must be useful and relevant to their lives.

Realizing the importance of education in the moulding of the life of an average citizen into becoming a successful individual, the Iperu Development Association, under the leadership of Chief Babajide Oyeti, constituted a body, the Iperu Remo Education Trust Scheme Management Board with the successful entrepreneur and education enthusiast, Mofopefoluwa Joseph, FRM, as the Chairman.

Other members of the Education Board are Otunba Olusegun Osinaike, a Permanent Secretary/Tutor General in the Lagos State Public Service as Vice Chairman; Mr. Olabanjo Muyiwa Osularu, Secretary; Prof. Adeleke Osho of the Redeemers University, Ede; Dr. Rasaki Akinbo, the Rector of the Ogun State College of Health and Applied Sciences, Ilese Ijebu; Pastor Moses Akinbowale; and Prince Gboyega Akinyemi; while Mr. Taiwo Raji, FCA, serves as the Executive Director.

The Board is responsible for managing the trust scheme established to support educational initiatives and programmes in the Iperu Remo. The goals and objectives of the board are as follows:

1. To provide support for the improvement of educational facilities and infrastructure in Iperu Remo..

2. To award scholarships and grants to deserving students in order to promote access to quality education.

3. To organize and support educational programs, workshops, and seminars for students, teachers, and parents in order to enhance their educational development.

4. To collaborate with local schools and educational institutions to implement projects and programs that align with the educational needs of the community.

5. To establish partnerships and secure funding opportunities from external sources to enhance the resources available for educational initiatives in the community.

6. To monitor and evaluate the impact of the trust scheme on educational outcomes in the Iperu Remo community and make necessary adjustments to improve effectiveness.

7. To promote community engagement and involvement in educational initiatives, encouraging parents and stakeholders to play an active role in the education of their children.

8. To ensure transparency and accountability in the management of funds, operations, and decision-making processes of the trust scheme.

9. To collaborate with government bodies and other organizations working towards improving education in the community to maximize resources and avoid duplication of efforts.

10. To continuously assess and respond to the evolving educational needs and challenges of the Iperu Remo community, adapting strategies and initiatives accordingly.

Through these goals and objectives, the Iperu Remo Education Trust Scheme Management Board aims to make a meaningful and sustainable impact on the educational development of the community, ultimately leading to improved academic performance, increased enrollment rates, and enhanced opportunities for students.

Upon its inauguration by the Alaperu of Iperu, His Royal Highness, Oba Adeleke Adelekan Idowu-Basibo (Odoru V), the Mofopefoluwa Joseph -led board, hit the ground running organizing successfully, three straight series of sensitization talks on education for students within the town.

In December 2023, the maiden edition of the talk was held at the usual venue, the Akesan Iperu Club 1954 Hall, a venue released to the organizers free of charge by the club, led by the Aro of Iperu Akesanland, High Chief Jide Sosan.
That edition had as its Keynote Speaker, Mr. Bayo Alli, while Mrs. Ronke Soyombo, the Special Adviser on Primary and Secondary Education to the Governor of Ogun State, was the Guest Speaker.

Similarly, the board had the second edition of the series on 24th January, 2024, with Mr. Tutu Buraimo, FCA, mni, a former Managing Director of CarnaudMetal Box Toyo Glass as the Keynote Speaker, and the Honourable Commissioner for Education, Ogun State, Prof. Abayomi Arigbabu as the Guest Speaker. The theme of the second discourse was “Education as a key to Success”.

The third and the last in the series, with the theme, “Education is a Key To Peace”, was held on the 21st February, 2024, and had the renowned priest, and Bishop, Lagos North Diocese of the Methodist Church, Nigeria, Rt. Rev. J.O. Gboyega OHU as the Keynote Speaker, while Dr. Mrs. Ayodele Olubunmi Womiloju, an educationist and former President, All Nigeria Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS), Ogun State, was the Guest Speaker.

The board equally constitute a Schools Liaison Teams which serves as interface between the board and all the public primary and secondary schools, including the Social Development Institute, Shasha, Iperu.

An induction was subsequently held for the teams, where the board’s Director of Mentoring, Training, and Education Development, Prof. Adeleke Osho, educated the members on their roles and responsibilities, which include, facilitating communication, coordinating education programmes, supporting professional development of educators, gathering and provision of feedbacks, problem resolution, promoting collaboration among schools, and advocating for excellence through the promotion of culture of continuous improvement and a commitment to a high standards in teaching and learning.

These Teams are meant to ascertain and determine the immediate needs of these learning institutions, and present same to the board. The report collated by the teams from various schools will thus assist the board in preparing a prospectus that would enable it seek the required assistance, support, and collaboration from the relevant individuals, organizations, donor agencies, and development partners, both nationally and internationally.

The board in fulfillment of one of its cardinal objectives had commenced the Bursaries, Grants and Scholarships programme for undergraduates of Iperu extraction in Nigerian institutions of higher learning.

A student of Medicine and Surgery at the University of Lagos, Adebowale Abdulqahhar Adenuga, was awarded a Scholarship of 150,000.00, while the sum of #75,000 was paid as Acceptance Fee for Olamilekan Fayombo at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Ogun State.

Application forms were released for its Vocational Skill Acquisition Programme, as the training for the Solar Power and Inverter Technology (renewable energy), trainees was held some weeks ago at the Akesan Iperu Club 1954 Hall.

To boost the skill Acquisition programme and make it more attractive, the board shall be collaborating with the Remo Growth and Development Foundation (RGDF) on Vocational training, while it has also entered into a partnership with the Gateway ICT Polytechnic, Sapade for training and certification purposes.

In its recently-released Monthly Report of Activities for February, 2024, the Chairman of the Iperu Remo Education Trust Scheme Management Board, Mofopefoluwa Joseph, FRM, indicates the board’s plan to construct four toilets in each of the three secondary schools in Iperu, and also distribute some exercise books to some as a palliative measure to ameliorate the hardship faced by people in view of the present high cost of living.

Furthermore, the board in actualisation of its action plans for the year, shall collaborate with leaders of existing socio-economic structures in the town. This had already commenced on Wednesday, 6th March, 2024, with an interactive discourse with the religious leaders (christian and muslim clerics), on the topic – “education is a key to peace, progress and prosperity”.
In continuation of the discourse, the board shall be meeting with the Political Leaders and Traditional Leaders (Olorituns), on Wednesday, 20th March, 2024.

The conversation shall be rounded up in June, and shall cover ward leaders, artisans, teachers, farmers, traders, entrepreneurs, industrialists, fashion designers, vulnerable, politicians, social clubs, women, and transport unions.

To increase primary schools students enrolment, the board has been talking to important stakeholders, and it is hoped that with an increased students enrollment in the primary schools, this shall also subsequently lead to an increased student enrollment in the secondary schools.

While appreciating those who have supported the board both financially and materially, the chairman expressed the board’s desire to institute a recognition/appreciation award plaque at the Alaperu’s Palace, and the Iperu Development Association Secretariat, in the following categories:

1. Platinum – #10m and above
2. Gold – #1m below #10m
3. Silver – #500,000 below #1m
4. Bronze – #100,000 below #500,000

He urged those who wish to support the board’s activities to transfer such into the account stated below:

Account Name: IPERU REMO EDUCATION TRUST SCHEME MANAGEMENT BOARD

Account No: 0284987989

Banker: WEMA BANK

Discussions on other forms of support, partnership, and collaboration, can be directed to the board chairman, through the following contact number:

+234 803 303 0914

It is instructive to acknowledge and commend the style adopted so far by the board, as it usually gives a constant feedback on its activities on a monthly basis.

This is in line with the number 8 of the Goals and Objectives guiding its operations, which is “to ensure transparency and accountability in the management of funds, operations, and decision-making processes of the trust scheme”.

With the significant progress recorded by the board in its short time of existence, and its preparedness to further advance the cause of education in Iperu through active support and collaboration of all stakeholders, it is very apt to say that the coming of the board was such a timely and long-expected one.

Tope Oyekan, an Iperu Indigene, writes via
topeoyekan40@gmail.com

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