By Chimaobim Ihediobi
Members of the Birch Freeman Old Boys Association (BIFOBA) has raised over N5 million for the installation of solar panel and other projects for its alma mater.
The funds were raised during the group’s annual homecoming held last Saturday at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Ikeja.
The event brought together old boys of Birch Freeman High School Surulere from the 1971, 1981, 1991, 2001 and 2011 sets, giving them a platform to reunite and give back to their alma mater.
Global President of the group, Rev. Tunde Adenekan said the reason behind the solar installation was to light up the school at night to deter intruders.
“The school is always dark at night which makes it difficult to see happenings in the surroundings, and the reason is because there is no money to fuel the generator always, that is why we came up with the solar panel project to help supply light around the school at night for security purpose of the school and neighbourhood,” he said.
Beyond the lighting project however, the President said the association was planning for an e-library that would cost about N50 million to provide pupils of the school with access to global resources.
“We want to build an e-library, where the students can do lots of research regarding the content of their curriculum because the teachers cannot know everything. This will help them to know more and also make learning easier for them,” he said.
Speaking on plans to impact the school’s local community, Adenekan said the group would organise an annual symposium to discuss how to improve education in Lagos State, particularly Mushin, which he said had a high level of dropout cases due to poverty.
“We want to educate parents on the need for education; and we will also try to help sponsor two or three children to the university level – this way creating impact in Mushin locality and in Lagos State”.
Reeling out the group’s impact on the school, he listed projects such as provision of branded face masks for all pupils and workers; employment of a music teacher; donation of a grand piano by the 1976 set; installation of sinks and other plumbing facilities by 1987 set; provision of sports equipment by the 1979 set amongst others.
The pioneer President, Superior Evangelist Oladipo Olokun, said the motivation behind the association was to get the old boys together for familiarisation, relaxation and most importantly to give back to their alma mater.
“We started in 1980 that was 15 years after the first set passed out from the school. The first set passed out in 1965,” he said.
The event featured awards for BIFOBA Distinguished Fellow, BIFOBA Hall of Fame and BIFOBA Roll of Honour.