• Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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BusinessDay

Lagos public schools become role models

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The Lagos state public schools are doing the state and nation proud in various competitions. They have become role models in academic and infrastructure and the Ministry of Education is daily being inundated with request for intra and inter-state transfers to our schools especially from private institutions.

Suddenly, public schools which were viewed with scorn in the past have become attractive to professionals in the field. Capacity building and welfare of teachers and support staff has been given priority while gratuity and pension of retired ones were promptly paid.

This has made recruitment of teachers to bridge the gap in the teacher/pupils ratio in the state highly competitive. One thousand, three hundred (1300) teachers were recently appointed for primary schools while the process to employ another 1000 teachers for public secondary schools has commenced.

The governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, like the proverbial custodian of a masquerade with exceptional performance is elated and spurred to further create a better conducive environment for teaching and learning by pumping another N10billion into school infrastructure and furniture during this vacation.

The deputy governor and superintendent of education sector in the state, Oluranti Adebule had opined that the commitment of the governor to education is driven by his clear understanding of the essence, purpose and advantages of education to human development and its effect on social, political, economic and social well-being of the state.

This may not be far from the truth considering the fact that the Lagos state’s 2016 budget for the education sector which stood at N113.3bn and represented 17.11% of the state’s budget was about one-third of the N369bn budgeted by the federal government for the entire country; and more than one-third of the N300bn budgeted for the same purpose by the 17 Northern states of the federation.

This barely one year old government has established three new secondary schools and it will establish a new school of Technical & Vocational College in Badagry before the commencement of the new academic session in September, 2016 to bring post primary education closer to the people.

To avoid a recurrence of the ugly kidnap scenario at Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary, Ikorodu perimeter wall fences of secondary schools were constructed and many more have been listed for construction to enhance security of the students and teachers in our public schools.

Several hundreds of classroom blocks have been built or renovated and thousands of students and teachers furniture supplied to various primary and secondary schools. Our science laboratories are better equipped and the enthusiasm of students to be science inclined has become very high with a lot of success recorded within the short time of the revolution.

It is on record that the Lagos State Science Competition team emerged the overall “Best State Team” at the 2016 National Festivals of School Science Competition held at Ado Ekiti. The team won the 1St, 2nd and 4th prizes, a feat that qualified the state to represent Nigeria at the 2016 International Science Exhibition Fair (ISEF) in Phoenix, Arizona, USA in May, 2016.

Our students also emerged as the overall best at the 2015 National Robotics Competition held at the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos and this qualified the state to represent Nigeria at the 2015 World Robot Olympiad (WRO) in Doha, Qatar.

Lagos State came 1st and 2nd position at the MAN Mathematics Olympiad held during the 52nd Annual National Conference of Mathematical Association of Nigeria (MAN) at University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus.

Six (6) Students from the State Public Schools were presented with Medals at the 2015 National Science and Mathematics Olympiad Competition held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.

The State emerged the overall best state at the 2015 and 2016 NNPC National Quiz Competition (Zonal finals) held at Oshogbo, Osun state and Abeokuta, Ogun state repectively. The state’s team later represented South-West zone at the National finals of the competition.

Students of the Lagos State public schools took 3rd position at the National Finals of Oluwole Awokoya Chemistry Competition held at International Conference Centre, Abuja.

Also, a Lagos state student, Miss Tomiwa Babatunde of Vetland Junior Grammar School, Agege came first at the South-West Zonal Competition of the National Competition in the All Nigeria Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS) written competition in selected subjects in Abuja.

The Spelling Bee competition has again been won by a public school student from Shasha Senior High School, Akowonjo. It is noteworthy, that a student of Ikotun High school won the competition last year. What that says to me is that our policies and programmes are reaching the grassroots.

The result of this investment in the education sector has been rewarding in the improved students’ performance outcomes in national and international competitions but the ultimate beneficiary is the future of the state and the nation. Governor Ambode is on the path to creating great future and we cannot but recognize this bold step.

 

Adesegun Ogundeji