Funmi Ogundare
For their creativity, winners of the essay writing competition with the theme, ‘Building a Better Lagos for the Future’, in support of Lagos @50, have been rewarded by the Association of Lagos Titled Chiefs.

They are; Miss Olayinka Esther Mohammed of Ikorodu Senior Grammar School, Ikorodu, Master Gideon Ogundeko of United High School, Ikorodu and Miss Boluwatife Calfos of Eko Akete Grammar School, Lagos.

They emerged the first, second and third positions, respectively, and received cash prizes, certificates and plaques, while their various schools also got trophies for their effort.

They were shortlisted out of 30 students that sat for the essay competition organised by the association on May 20, and tested on the knowledge of Lagos affairs, versatility on content, organisation, expression, accuracy, as well as the efforts of the past and current administration of the state and how to build a better Lagos.

In her essay, Miss Mohammed who clinched the first prize, said, “Lagos state would not be a complete mega city state of my dream if these are not included in the future governance of Lagos State. An integrated public transportation management system for transportation across Lagos state, improved effective security system, education standard to world standards, improved health services and amongst all employment of our graduating youths every year.

“With all these in summary, I think building a better Lagos for the future will be effective and efficient for me and for the rest of Lagosians, where everyone is born equal.”
She expressed excitement about her prize noting that she was able to arrange the content of the essay very well for it to have won her the first position.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, held recently, at the Yoruba Tennis Club (YTC), Lagos Island, the President of the Association, Chief Iyabo Foresythe, who expressed optimism that the programme will be done yearly, advised the students to face their studies and be good representatives of the communities.

The Chairman, Planning Committee, Lagos@50, Bashorun John K.Randle commended the state government for its efforts in improving education in public schools and called for more involvement of the private sector, individuals and faith-based organisations in the total reform of the education landscape of Lagos.
He also lauded the efforts of the past and current administrations in building a better Lagos for the future through incremental developments.

He said the competition is designed to recognise the important role that young people can play towards building a better Lagos for the future, adding that it was opened to interested individual students aged between 15 and 18 from the state public senior secondary schools.

“The essays written by the 30 shortlisted students showed the quality of education received in public schools in Lagos state. The students would definitely have no problems passing English language examination, both internally and externally in flying colors. The competition no doubt brought out the quality of students in the public schools that can excel in any examination,” Randle stressed.

He congratulated the awardees, teachers and school administrators for the deserved honour saying, “your being recognised as best students in the competition on the occasion of Lagos@50, will highly inspire other students in Lagos state public schools.”

The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode commended the association for putting the competition together, while expressing delight that the students from public schools performed well.

“When you talk about essay competition, most times, private schools take the lead but we thank God that our public school students didn’t disappoint us. Government has invested a lot of money training and re-training our teachers and what we are seeing today is the result of it, ” he said

Ambode who was represented by a Director in the Ministry of Education, Mr. Biodun Oni thanked the teachers and parents for doing a good job, while promising government’s readiness to recognise the winners at the state level.