. . . Commissions Over 1,097 School Infrastructure Projects
. . . To Establish New Schools, Radio Station
Lagos State Government, on Friday, reeled out some of its major achievements in the education sector as part of activities marking the second anniversary of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration in the State.
Speaking at the annual Press Briefing held at Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, the State Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, revealed that within the last two years, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has significantly contributed to the growth of the education sector in the State with the commissioning of over 1,097 school infrastructure projects covering 970 schools across the 20 Local Governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas.
Adefisayo noted that in creating a conducive environment for learning, the State Government rehabilitated 322 dilapidated public schools, provided 87,000 units dual composite furniture for 775 primary and secondary schools, adding that additional 300 classrooms and seven new hostels blocks were also provided.
She opined that in managing these projects for effective use, the Ministry partnered with the Lagos State Infrastructure Asset Management Agency (LASIAMA), saying “We are building more schools and ensuring proper management of the structures, through LASIAMA, because we believe that our children can only learn in a conducive environment”.
The Commissioner emphasised that to stem the intrusion of hoodlums in schools, the government has provided security facilities such as security alarm system, fence upgrade, watchtowers and floodlights. In addition, the State Government initiated a security programme to engage and interact with security agencies on proper ways to secure the students while in school.
The School curriculum, according to her, has also been reviewed just as the State Government launched new schemes of work integrating the 21st-century skills, which are aimed at preparing the children for an excellent future.
In her words, “We have reviewed the booklist and ensured that our curriculum is infused with the right skills for every child, thereby our classes are now more engaging, interesting and the curriculum will be loaded on an app in line with our Education and Technology mandate”.
She disclosed that the Government has re-introduced the School-based Management Board and initiated the Volunteer Teachers Mentoring Corps Programme to improve the capacity of school personnel, thereby creating opportunities for education stakeholders to support the government in mentoring the present and upcoming teachers/school administrators.
On the capacity of teachers, Mrs. Adefisayo enthused that over 15,000 teachers were trained through the Eko Excel Programme and given tablets preloaded with the curriculum, while 12 cars were presented to outstanding public schools teachers as a way of appreciating their efforts and motivating them for better service delivery.
“Other investment in teachers’ welfare by the government include the disbursement of N12.8 million housing loan to teachers, numerous capacity training programmes for newly recruited and existing teachers, principals with modern technology. The present administration will continue to train and retrain our teachers as they are the most critical factor in developing our future generations”, Mrs. Adefisayo said.
The Commissioner disclosed that the Governor approved the payment of N679 million to WAEC for 45,447 SS3 students in all public schools to relieve the burden on parents. Also, the government partnered with Casio and SKLD Integrated services to install a Casio Mathematics and Science Laboratory at the Education Resource Centre to further enhance teaching and learning of science-related subjects.
On efforts to reduce the rate of out of school children, Mrs. Adefisayo revealed that over 4,500 pupils were tracked and brought back to continue their education, adding that they were provided with essential materials that made them abandon schooling.
Noting that the Public-Private Partnership programme of the Ministry provided over 27,000 additional mobile devices and MP3 devices preloaded with the curriculum, the Commissioner stated that the items were distributed to students to further enhance their learning and make them technologically savvy in line with the Education and Technology pillar of the T.H.E.M.E.S Development Agenda.
She said, “As a testament to our improved learning environment, our students have continued to be outstanding at National and International Competitions, winning trophies, laurels and making the State proud by being overall best in many of the competitions they participated in”.
“The State Government has also concluded plans to establish new schools, including vocational and special schools in addition to the plan to launch an educational radio station to cascade learning to the grassroots”, Adefisayo asserted.