The Foreshore School, Ikoyi, Lagos recently hosted an education stakeholders’ meeting where participants shared ideas on how to enhance human capital, technology and infrastructure for quality education in the state.
The meeting had in attendance members of the Association of Private Educators in Nigeria (APEN), Lagos State gubernatorial aspirant and his running mate, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Dr. Femi Hamzat; the Director General, Quality Assurance Office, Ministry of Education, Mrs. Ronke Soyombo; consultants, non-governmental organisations, among others.
The stakeholders, who were concerned about how education budget in the state is being spent, emphasised the need to scale up the training of teachers in schools to enhance teaching and learning.
They stressed the need to leverage on technology platforms to teach, assess, test and reinforce learning, in conjunction with the private sector and development partners.
They also called for the strengthening of the management of education in the state and ensuring that the functions of State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Lagos State Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) and the Ministry of Education are synergized.
The Administrator of the school, Miss Oyindamola Egbeyemi described education as key to the future, and critical to the development of all other sectors, adding that it is important that stakeholders collaborate to move the sector forward.
An education consultant, Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo expressed concern that public schools don’t hold stakeholders accountable for learning outcomes, while stressing the need to make education attractive for every child of school age.
She stressed the need to create a value change orientation among parents, adding that they should know their responsibilities as parents instead of pushing them to the schools.
In his remarks, Hamzat expressed concern about the population growth in Lagos, saying that the rate at which people migrate into the state is affecting the payment of WAEC fees of students.
“Lagos State pays WAEC fees and people keep on bringing students from other states to register them in our schools. The challenge on our hands is about regulating our population. How do we stem the issue of overpopulation?”
Also speaking, Soyombo said there must be synergy between public and private schools, adding, “there is need to raise the morale of teachers and leaders must be more accountable to their duties. We also need to ensure a behavioural change among stakeholders.”
Sanwo-Olu, while fielding questions from journalists on how to address the issue of over-population and ensure quality delivery of education in the state, said if elected, there will be a data generation strategy that will enable the state to plan adequately.
“We will be doing a lot of advocacy and engagement with the community, churches and mosques, we will be having these conversations so that parents can come out fully for us to know the number we are dealing with and know how to better plan most of the things we have been talking about. It is a good challenge and believe that with the support of everybody, we should be able to achieve something.”
On his assessment of the meeting, he said: “It is work in progress, we have said that our government will be inclusive, open to all, listening and talking to all the stakeholders in the sector. What it has shown is that we have people that have passion for education, people that have data and information and they can contribute these ideas into our programme and that is why we have been engaging ourselves to ensure things work very well.
“Sometimes you don’t need to reinvent it; you just need to domesticate it so that it can work for you. There are things that they do and know about to enrich our understanding of what we need to do. The bottom line is we have children that we have to prepare for, our pupils have to get quality education and that is what it is all about.”