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ON LAGOS’ NEW LEASE OF LIFE FOR EDUCATION

Adesegun Ogundeji, Public Relations Officer (PRO) Lagos State Ministry of
Education

According to f amous American scientist, George Washington Carver, ‘education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom’. Really, education is critical to the growth and development of any society. It empowers the individual with necessary knowledge and set of skills to actualize potential and maximize opportunities in life. It is for this reason that governments across the world devote a good chunk of available resources to the development of the educational sector. In Nigeria, Lagos is unarguably the State with the highest number of public schools, students and teachers. It has consistently been churning out the highest number of candidates for public examinations in Nigeria since 1967.

As a melting point wi th a bourgeoning population in excess of 20 million, provision of qualitative education in Lagos State has been a daunting task. The current administration in the state clearly understands that the task of making Lagos State “the model of excellence in the provision of education in Africa” requires meticulous attention. To this end, the sum of 92.4 billion naira, representing 11.37 percent was allocated to education sector in the State budget for 2017 The Lagos state government appreciates that as much as physical infrastructure is important, adequate and quality teachers in schools are as important.

Thus, as part of measures to bridge the gap in theteacher/pupil ratio in thestate, the g o v e r nme n t r e c r u i t e d o n e FEATURES thousand, three hundred (1,300) teachers for primary schools while another 1000 teachers were recruited for public secondary schools in 2016. Similarly, government has been paying attention to teachers’ welfare. Also, since April 2017, Code Lagos centres have been launched in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions (private and public) across the State, as well as in all public libraries and ICT spaces. The ultimate goal is for one million students in the state to have access to the coding system by the year 2019. The awardees, Mrs. Lufadeju Dolapo Olufunke received the Best School Award on behalf of Ojodu Junior Grammar School, Ikeja.

The “Best School Administrator Award” (Senior Secondary School category) went to Mrs. Oluderu Bilikisu Oluwaseyi of Magbon Alade Senior Grammar School while Mrs. Adelegan Moronike Sarat of Civil Service Junior Model College, Igbogbo was selected as the First Runner up, Best Administrator of the Year 2017. Earlier, five students of Lagos State public secondary schools had excelled at the Y2017 National Robot Olympiad and qualified to represent Nigeria at the World Robot Olympiad to be held in Costa Rica.

It is worthy of note that Lagos State has een representing Nigeria in this competition since 2015. On September 22nd, 2017, Oluwasegun Durojaiye of Lagos State Model College, Igbokuta qualified to represent the South- West Zone at the National Finals of t h e NNPC S c i e n c e Qu i z Competition and Atabo Ufedejo of Model College, Kankon emerged one of the best students at the national finals of the 2017 Oluwole Awokoya Chemistry Competition held in Kaduna from 17th to 22nd September, 2017. Lagos State took the first position in the National Free Choice (Senior) Project presented by the students of Government Technical College, Agidingbi at the 2017 National Junior Engineers, Technicians and Scientists (JETS) competition in March, 2017.

The State won 10 trophies and 10 medals at the event and 7 of the trophies won went to State public schools students. Also, Seven Students/Teachers from the State Public Schools were awarded medals and Certificates at the 2017 edition of National Ma t h ema t i c s a n d Sc i e n c e Olympiad award ceremony organized by the National Mathematical Centre, Abuja. The Key Performance Indices of the Education Sector is not limited to competition awards as the State has made tremendous progress in external examinations since Y2015. The result of the States performance at the 2017 WASSCE is put at 66% pass in at least 5 subjects including English and Mathematics, compared to the 50.41% in 2016, 37.27% in 2015 and 21.22% in 2014.