We’ll continue to empower children, youths with requisite skills ― Sanwo-Olu

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Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Saturday, assured that his administration will continue to empower children and youths with requisite skills for a self-reliant future by providing a suitable path for them based on their skills competence.

The governor gave the assurance while speaking at the year 2023 Children’s Day Celebration themed: “More Money for Primary Education,” held at the Police College Ground, Ikeja, Lagos.

Sanwo-Olu who was represented by the deputy governor, Dr Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, promised that the state government would continue to collaborate with the private sector through meaningful partnerships and interventions from all stakeholders to provide children and youths in the state with the wings to fly, the environment to develop and the skills to prepare them for a greater tomorrow, while ensuring that no child was left behind.

“We will continue to collaborate with the private sector through meaningful partnerships as well as interventions from all stakeholders to provide you with the wings to fly, the environment to develop and the skills to prepare for a greater tomorrow, while ensuring that no child is left behind,” Sanwo-Olu said.

He described the theme of this year’s celebration as a call on leaders to provide more money for primary education, adding that it reflected the importance his administration attached to all issues that concern education in the state for the sake of the children and the betterment of Lagos in the future.

According to him, the theme also restates the government’s strategic investment in all aspects of education, recalling that the state government had since 2019 delivered a series of initiatives and intervention programs for the benefit of children in the state to show her commitment to Child Rights protection, welfare and created awareness on issues that were important to make them happy.

Sanwo-Olu added that over N4.2 billion was spent in the last four years to fulfil the promise of full payment of West African Senior School Certificate Examination fees to keep students moving up the ladder and to ensure no student is left behind till the end of secondary school education.

Speaking further, he said the government recognises the role early childhood education plays in ensuring a better future for children, noting that as part of government efforts to improve teaching and learning in Primary and Secondary Schools across the state, over 1,449 projects had been commissioned.

He said the projects covered 1,036 schools across all 20 Local Government Areas (LGs) and 37 Local Communities Development Areas (LCDAs) which includes construction, renovation, and rehabilitation of dilapidated public schools and supply of composite units of furniture to schools, among other infrastructure projects.

The governor added that the Eko Excel Program initiated by the government, had revolutionized primary education in the state public primary schools with huge investment and corresponding success in quality education delivery, disclosing that over 15,000 primary school teachers were trained and provided with teaching aid devices.

According to him, over 450,000 pupils were empowered with personal E-Learning Devices, adding that in four years, the government had succeeded in transforming teaching and learning in all her 1,021 public primary schools with the aid of technology.

Sanwo-Olu said his administration had reduced, through the Project Zero Program, the rate of out-of-school children by reabsorbing with full kits, a total of 11, 957 pupils back to school to demonstrate the state administration’s zero tolerance for “Out of School Children.”

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mr Abolaji Abayomi, earlier in his welcome address, said the state had recorded some enviable results in the performance of pupils and students from her public primary and secondary schools in the last four years due to enhanced funding for the education sector by the Sanwo-Olu administration.

He emphasized that the state education sector witnessed a noticeable improvement in the form of infrastructure, a conducive atmosphere, qualitative teaching and learning and a wholesome reward system.

The permanent secretary appreciated the genuine interest and commitment of the governor and the deputy governor to the welfare and comfort of every child in Lagos State.

Highlights of the Children’s Day celebration event include a march-pass by students, symbolic registration of Nursery and Primary pupils to the state public schools by the governor and the cutting of the Children’s Day celebration cake.