In a bid to promote the study of science among girls, a set of the Queens College Old Girls have donated science laboratory equipment worth over N3 million to the college.
The donation is part of activities lined up by the 1965 to 1969/71 set to celebrate their 50th anniversary of leaving the school.
Dr Theresa Bassey, Chairperson of the 50th Anniversary Organising Committee for the “Give Back to Queens College”, told the Nigeria News Agency on Saturday in Lagos that the school deserved nothing short of the best.
According to her the need for giving back to the college will not have been there if the college did not impact on members of the set or any other positively.
“When we were planning this anniversary, we sat down and reflected on what has impacted our lives thus far and came up with the idea of giving back to our great Alma Mater that has done so much for us.
“We thought about it six to seven months ago and came for a meeting with the college’s management.
“We carried out an on sight visit round the college and then looked at their needs list and decided to pick up what we felt was of immediate attention and which will be readily affordable.
“We decided to provide science laboratory equipment which comprise of 100 laboratory stools, skeletons, pipet stands, microscopes and others found in a standard laboratory to enhance practical knowledge, be it in subjects such as Physics, Chemistry or Biology,” she said.
Bassey said that Queens College needed a lot of support in several respects if indeed efforts and desire to take it back to it’s glory days as the foremost girl’s college in the country was to be accomplished.
The medical doctor, however, noted that this called for collective responsibility as no single individual or group of persons could fix it all alone.
“A group of people can not do it all alone. Government itself cannot do everything, the same goes for the teachers.
“There need to be a corporate responsibility of all, including the Old Girls of the college, management, teachers and other stakeholders and even the students themselves to endure that Queens College continues to fulfill the mandates of the founding fathers” she said.
According to her, apart from the need for an urgent physical infrastructure intervention in the college, there is also the need for mentoring, psychological and social upliftment of the girls in the college.
Bassey added that education must be given a holistic approach for it’s benefit to be impactful, adding that it was time the country needed to do less of lip service in tackling the challenges in the education sector.
She noted that there was need for government to work the talks, especially in the area of infrastructure development, training and re-training of teachers and empowerment in a bid to meet up with the 21st century demands.
According to the chairperson, the college has continue to produce respectable women who have distinguished themselves in various fields of life’s endeavours, locally and in the Diaspora.
Mrs Bolanle Izilein, also a member of the set, told NAN that with the donation of the equipment, the girls were expected to surpass standards set by some of their male counterparts in the field of science.
She noted that not only were the girls expected to excel academically, but go ahead to break new grounds and take the college and the country at large to the next level.
“We attended a Queens College that never lacked in every ramifications, as the Federal Government was always alive to it’s responsibility in providing all the basic needs.
“However, we acknowledge the fact that things are no longer the same today and that has informed the need for us coming in to do our bit to lift the college to that same standard we all enjoyed in the years past.
“We had an amazing experience when we were in this college. It stood out, there was a culture, wherever we went to, the way we presented ourselves, we were respects like the queens we are.
“We sincerely hope and pray that with time, our beloved college will bounce back fully because the college is known for producing great women who have distinguished themselves in various professions.
“Among our set alone are High Court Judges, Permanent Secretaries, Medical Doctors, captains of industries, Accountants, and others.
“We are passionate about Queens college and therefore, we want to render support and encourage these younger ones, see how they can even surpass our achievements because we still believe that the college is a special school, as the best has yet to come out from there,” she said.
Also, the Principal of the college, Dr Tokunbo Yakubu-Oyinloye, expressed delight at the gesture of the set, adding that it was a step in the right direction.
According to her, the donation of the equipment which would compliment the existing ones will further enhance teaching and learning of science in the college.
The principal said that the college remained focused in its pursuit for both academic excellence and the moulding of all round individuals, as well as unlock and develop potential.
“Our aims and desire is to produce great queens like the old girls, who today have reached the peak of their respective careers.
“We have indeed been receiving assistance from the various sets of the old girls but we are still beckoning on many others, including the association as a whole to continue giving back to this college because needs are insatiable.
“Government on its part has continued to invest massively towards the development of the college but like we all know, it also has other things jostling for it’s attention and therefore, cannot do it all alone.
“Already, plans are in place to expand and renovate some of the hostels in the college to make it more conducive for the girls.
“In addition, a new borehole has been sunk and a new tank provided. So with these, we can all attest to government’s determination in ensuring that the college remains the flagship college for girls in the country.
“It is on this premise that we are calling on well meaning Nigerians, corporate bodies and organisations to partner with government in ensuring that the college attains its much desired height,” she told NAN.
According to the principal, the college will continue to celebrate great achievements brought by the students through academics and extra-curricular activities.
“The students have brought honour to this college in spite of several distractions. It may interest you to know that our students emerged winners of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce Essay Competition, as well as the Eloquence Competition, where we defeated King’s College among other feats.
“Therefore, we will continue to ensure that the girls are seen to befit the status of the queens that they are at all times. We will also strive to enforce discipline in our students as this remains a key components of success.
“We will like to also enjoin parents to join hands with schools generally in the country to pay attention to the development of the girl-child, as grooming and mentoring them in the way of the Lord will bring about a peaceful and progressive nation,” she said.
(Edited & Vetted By: Peter Ejiofor)