Conoil, one of the leading nation’s complete energy providers, has advised teachers, parents, governments, non-governmental organisations and all well-meaning Nigerians on the need for vigilance and urgent action to stem the growing negative influence on the children. In its goodwill message to the Nigerian child to commemorate Children’s Day celebrations, the company entreated parents, leaders and every adult to lead by example by imbibing hard work, diligence, discipline, honesty, prudence, selflessness and patriotism.
It also called on parents to strive at all times to nurture, educate, mentor and pride their children to be the best in whatever endeavor they find themselves. The statement counselled the private sector to partner with government at all levels to guarantee better living conditions for the Nigerian child by providing access to quality and affordable education, effective transportation system, good healthcare and other basic necessities so that they can grow, flourish and keep our country strong.
At the news conference, however, the deputy governor explained the reason the Ambode administration could not implement the school feeding programme when the federal government rolled it out in 2016.
Adebule, who also oversees the state Ministry of Education, noted that there was the need for proper planning and assessment to accommodate and ensure adequate meal for students.
He added that the number of students in public schools in Lagos State alone “is about the number of students in five or six states put together. We just have to plan properly to ensure no student is left out.”
She acknowledged that the programme was one of electoral promises of President Muhammadu Buhari, which according to her, was designed to provide a free meal per day during school hours for public pupils across all states of the federation.
Although the programme has commenced in some states, Adebule noted that there was need for careful and proper planning to get it running in Lagos state due mainly to its large student population and differential in prices of food items.
The deputy governor noted that the prices of food items “are higher in Lagos State than what obtains in other states of the federation.”
However, Adebule announced that the state government had already engaged the office in charge at the federal level, as well as the state Ministries of Agriculture and Health “to start the implementation of the programme. We are on course.
“We commenced the training of environmental officers who will screen food vendors to ensure adequate hygiene and prevent any form of infection. The process to kick-start the school feeding programme in the state is ongoing and we will commence shortly.
“Lagos state is not known for shoddy programme and we are gunning for nothing but the best as you all know that our state is the centre for measuring excellence and we will want to do it in the best way that the motive behind that scheme is achieved’’ She said.
He reeled out the achievements of the Ambode administration in the one year, Adebule said the state government awarded car loans to 491 teachers to the tune of about N40 million.
She added that N30 million housing loan was approved for 38 teaching staff as a welfare package to increase productivity of the teaching staff to enhance better performance of students
Adebule said that 57 cases of rape and child abuses were reported and were being handled in different courts of law across the state.
The deputy governor explained that the state government’s initiatives of ready-set-work, code-Lagos, project 350; digital library have all recorded remarkable achievements during the period under review.
While the ready-set-work initiative since inception in 2016 has trained 12, 500 and will in 2018 be training 25,000 students, the Code Lagos initiative has trained over 31,000 Lagosians to code and has set up 364 Coding Centres in various schools and localities.
Adebule noted that the state government had created an office called Office of Education Quality Assurance in order to ensure that learning is taking place in a very conducive environment for learning in both public and private schools across the state.
She said the office was saddled with the conduct of whole school evaluation of public and private schools in the state, noting that the agency had been monitoring all academic activities both in the private and public schools just to ensure a total compliance with the standard set by the state government.
She said the initiative had helped “to bring significant improvement to learning outcomes as reflected inbetter performance of students in both internal and external examinations across the state.”
She explained that out of a total number of 152,882 public and private school pupils that sat for the 2017 placement test into public secondary schools, a total of 146,116 which is 95.61 per cent were successful and offered admission.