Lagos Harps on Innovative Methods to Transform Education

Funmi Ogundare

The Lagos State Government yesterday called for innovative methods through which the private sector can partner with it to ensure an action plan that will transform education in the state.

The Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, made the call at the 2023 Lagos Education Conference themed,’ ‘Exploring the opportunities in public-private partnership for educational development in Nigeria’, organised in conjunction with Casio and SKLD Integrated Services Limited. 

She emphasised on the importance of public/private partnership,  saying that they should  form an alliance with government based on not just their corporate social responsibilities but on mutually benefitting alliances.

According to her, “while the private sector motive is essentially profit making, it is sound thinking when the sector invests in human capital development through the schools’ system locally. It is this self-reinforcing system that will take us on the path of success and sustainability.”

She expressed concern about the paucity of funding in the state saying that the government does not have the capacity to fully and sustainably fund education.

“This means we require a substantial amount of funding which the available financial resources of the government cannot tackle alone. Over the years, Mr. Governor has adequately funded the education sector, the annual budget of which recurrent expenditure takes close to 60% yearly, while 40% for capital expenditure. 

Adefisayo said the state is peculiar among other states of the federation not only because of its huge population, but also because of the high rate of people migrating into the state on a daily basis.

“Twenty six persons migrate permanently into Lagos State every hour and majority of them are youths and children which means increasing responsibility in education and other sectors for the government also on a daily basis.

The commissioner noted that the state is not concerned only about students’ attaining academic excellence in classrooms, but also about their vocational skills, competencies, emotion, moral, culture and values system that would prepare them well for leadership roles in future.

Adefisayo, however, commended Casio and SKLD Integrated Services Limited and several other corporate bodies that are in partnership with the state government on the study of Mathematics and the training of teachers as part of their contributions to the development of education in the state, saying such partnerships are yielding tremendous results.

The programme witnessed a panel discussion. The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Mr. Andrew Adejo, who is one of the panelists at the forum, commended Lagos State for always being at the forefront of innovation in the education sector and urged it not to relent.

He explained that the federal government had been carrying out similar projects in the sector by interfacing with the private sector in several areas of needs for its Unity Colleges spread across the country.

Another panelist, who is the Senior Deputy Registrar, Test Development, West African Examinations Council (WAEC) Nigeria, Mrs. Frances Iweha-Onuikwu, also harped on importance of private engagement in education, saying contribution of every stakeholder in education would bring great results not only in learning outcomes and teaching but also in economic prosperity.

She said cases of exam malpractice are still high in the country, urging all hands to be on deck to fight the scourge.

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