hero Op-Ed

Osun Steel High Schools: Aregbesola’s Gift To Africa

Osun Steel High Schools: Aregbesola’s Gift To Africa
  • PublishedAugust 20, 2017

By Inwalomhe Donald

Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s bold and brilliant initiative has changed the face of education and particularly school construction in Africa, considering the massive structures that have been put in place by his administration. It is on this basis that I want to appeal to the National Universities Commission (NUC) to grant University provisional license to Osun Steel Structure High Schools in Ilesa, Iwo and Osogbo that can last for more than 100 years, so as to expand access to, and improve quality of higher education in Nigeria, as well as create room for effective mentoring and qualitative growth. This is because these schools are capable of meeting the standard of full University operations. Ilesa, Osogbo and Iwo High Schools have the required standards to operate as Universities in Nigeria.

There is nowhere in Africa that you can find steel structure high schools like the types in Ilesa, Iwo and Osogbo. I challenge anybody to prove me wrong. None of the 12 Federal Universities established in February 2011 by the Federal Government of Nigeria can boast of such structure. Ondo and Edo States have three state-owned universities each and based on what Governor Aregbesola has done, NUC should please grant license to Osun State to operate more state Universities.

Ilesa, Osogbo and Iwo steel structure constructed from Sukuk fund are good examples of schools that have changed the face of schools in Africa. The schools are with 216 classrooms, 3 ICT halls, 18 laboratories and others, with the capacity to bear heavy loads in tension and compression, high resiliency and performance under harsh and difficult conditions.

Osun Steel High schools can be shaped by many processes, ranging from standard rolled sections to custom castings and digitally generated components. The schools are wide, the buildings’ cladding highlight their durability, technical capabilities and aesthetic versatility. There is no Nigerian University, Polytechnic or College of Education that can boast of steel structure building like the ones we have in Osun. The state is the first to build such schools in Africa. They contain 216 classrooms that have the capacity to accommodate more than 9,000 students.

With Ilesa, Osogbo and Iwo steel structure Sukuk High schools, it has clearly shown that Aregbesola’s government is committed to changing the face of education, and turns it to a model in Osun, Nigeria, Africa and the entire world.

The Osun modern education policies and school reclassification policies are second to none, as the model schools are well equipped with state-of-the-arts facilities that are incomparable not only in Nigeria or Africa but in the world.

A great lesson is that the schools can be easily modified during the life cycle of a building to accommodate changing occupant requirements. As the most recycled material in the world, steel is an environmentally sound building material choice. Today, structural steel is 97 per cent recycled with the primary source being automobiles. Architects praise the natural beauty of Osun steel schools and are excited about exposing them in the design of their structures to emphasise grace, slenderness and strength, and in their building envelopes, to enhance environmental performance and aesthetic character.

President Muhammadu Buhari last year described the newly completed steel structure Osogbo Government High School built by the Aregbesola administration as an educational legacy that must be emulated by other states of the federation. Buhari noted that the 3,000-capacity steel complex with 72 classrooms, each capable of sitting 49 pupils, is in line with his administration and party’s education policy. He held that his government has been doing all it could to assist the state governments to realise their developmental plans irrespective of their political parties.

President Buhari said his government will cooperate with other state governments to make education cost-effective and accessible to other youth in the country. According to him, the example of the cost effectiveness will be exemplified by this new school, which is capable of graduating 1,000 students in a year. He averred that the school would have produced 50,000 well-trained students, who will form the fulcrum of the society in the next 50 years.

The lesson is that the story of steel structure schools building in Osun State is the first in sub Sahara Africa. It is important to note that the schools have many advantages, such as large span, low demand of base structure, Seismic and wind resistance, fast to build and easy to maintain and so on. The walls of the buildings are also flexible, as you can choose colored steel plate or EPS/PU/XPS sandwich panel as your wall system. The products can be packed in one package, and it is easy to upload, download and stack in the site.

Osun State, the first in Sub Sahara Africa has perfectly combined the traditional steel structure building with light steel building, hence, laying foundation for steel structure schools in sub Sahara Africa. This combination is used as multi-story high schools of 72 classrooms each and several departmental offices etc.

Built from steel, the schools took some years to build instead of the two years required for a more conventional structure. Many tonnes of steel were used to build the site. Unemployed workers from the township were employed on the projects, with between 60 and 80 on site each day. The steel structure can be produced in kit form, allowing quick and easy assembly. All the three schools were built using light weight steel and Arval panels with a view to promoting the use of steel in domestic buildings.

The prototype building at Ilesa, Osogbo and Iwo are not only that make extensive use of steel in the different building components but also proves that steel can be used cost effectively and aesthetically.

The lesson is that Governor Aregbesola has demonstrated that the three steel structure Schools are excellent examples of what can be achieved with steel in the construction environment and my wish is that it will ensure an iron-clad future for the students of Osun State.

Osun State steel structure high schools facilities in Ilesa, Iwo and Osogbo

  • 216 Classrooms for more than 9,000 students
  • Laboratories
  • Nutrition centre with a kitchen and storeroom
  • Workshops
  • ICT centres with computers rooms and libraries
  • Administrative building: meeting rooms, offices for the principal and two vice principals, staffroom, reception, kitchen, toilets
  • Caretaker’s house (two bedrooms, kitchen/lounge, bathroom)
  • Toilet and washroom facilities and the sports fields

The other schools built with Sukuk fund are: Wole Soyinka High School, Ejigbo; Ataoja High School, Osogbo; Fakunle Unity High School, Osogbo; Oduduwa High School, Ile Ife; Ila High School, Ila-Orangun; Adventist High School, Ede; Iwo, Akinorun High School, Ikirun and Ayedaade High School, Ikire. What is unique about Osun State High Schools is that each of them has the capacity to take off as a state university.

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