Despite having well defined mission and vision as a school established to provide early academic needs for children suffering from hearing impairment, yet certain critical tools that could make it deliver on that mandate seem too far away from its reach.
Wesley Primary School is currently divided into School 1 and 2 with both schools having a total of 320 pupils. The classes are run from kindergarten to primary six. And for the teachers who are saddled with the responsibility of imparting knowledge into the pupils, they said it can be sometimes frustrating when essential tools to work with aren’t just there.
“Since the school’s establishment in 1962, it has turned out many pupils, some of whom are making great strides in their respective callings till date. But the school hasn’t been that lucky in attracting kind gestures from members of the public except for the few who just feel compelled to come to its aid at one point or the other.
?”Today, I can say the school is in need of certain critical aids that can enhance learning of its pupils. And for most of our teachers, it can be very frustrating when such aids are not available,” Adeoye Addey, the Headteacher, Wesley School 1, said.
For Mrs Mobolaji Adenubi, a volunteer story teller to the hearing impaired pupils and a retired Assistant Director of Education at Federal Ministry of Education, one of the greatest challenges the hearing impaired pupils are facing is that, they often get overlooked by members of society because they have no physical sign of disability, whereas, passing across information to them can be very difficult and can only be enhanced with visual aids.
“One thing I know is that you have to put everything in the mind of the deaf. They need guidance at all time and if there is anything that can make learning a pleasurable experience for them, that of course are the visual aids,” Adenubi said.
Perhaps, it was in an attempt to meet that pressing challenge of the hearing impaired pupil that Bristow Helicopters Nigeria, in continuation of its Bristow Uplift program, presented to Wesley School, a solar powered photovoltaic (PV) system that supplies energy to computers in the IT classrooms and also powers the school’s sick bay.
“The history of Wesley College has been a very sad one in the nation’s history but we at Bristow are committed to re-writing the history. Our decision to assist the Wesley was in recognition of the school’s personal efforts over the years to provide conducive learning environment for the hearing impaired. We are convinced that a hearing impaired child should be given the same opportunities as children without impairment,” Femi Collins, General Manager, Human Resources, Bristow Helicopters, said.
According to Collins, enhancing the children’s learning environment by ensuring access to modern day teaching and learning tools will better prepare them for a fast changing world. He said it is in recognition of that fact that the company has put not just computer systems but also internet.
“With the internet, some of the pupils can go and find out things on their own since they can read and write. Some of them can also choose to inquire on web why they are who they are and how best their situation can be remedied. How best to live with and still be useful to themselves and the society at large,” Collins said.
The General Manager further said that the gesture is not a donation to the school but Corporate Social Responsibility effort which he said every responsible organization in the country must be carrying out from time to time. He noted that government alone cannot do it all, thus the need for other organizations to do more for the needy.
On why Bristow Helicopter is powering the computer systems with solar light, Collins said the erratic nature of the public power made that action attractive to them. He further noted that electrical generator became unattractive because of its own problems which include buying of diesel from time to time as well as maintenance servicing.
“We have abundant energy from the sun, which will provide the energy and recharge the inverter when it is depleted,” Collins said.
Responding, Alimi Babatunde, Head teacher, Wesley School 1, commended Bristow’s kind gesture, saying it was a means of empowering the children. “This will go a long way to promote social and educational growth of both the students and the teaching staff.”
Similarly, the retired Assistant Director at the ministry of education, Mrs Adenubi commended the initiative of Bristow.
“I am impressed with the level and quality of support provided by Bristow. Providing computers with Microsoft Office and Internet access, while ensuring there is constant energy to power the computers and the schools’ sick bay, thereby giving the children more learning opportunities, will be so much more rewarding for the children and teachers,” Adenubi said.