Lagos State First Lady, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu on Monday, 30 August, 2021 presented bank drafts to beneficiaries of the 2021 edition of annual Lagos Exams Support which is an initiative of her office targeted at helping candidates of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) to pay outstanding school fees.
The initiative, according to the First Lady, is designed to support students especially in low-cost schools from the five administrative divisions of the state namely Ikeja, Badagry, Ikorodu, Lagos Island and Epe, with payment of outstanding fees that may prevent them from writing the ongoing Senior Secondary School WAEC examinations.
Five students out of about 90 beneficiaries were selected for symbolic presentation of bank drafts. They are: Ogun Medese Oluwayigamika (Badagry Grammar School – female); Adelekan Temiloluwa (Badagry Grammar School – female); Sulaimon Quadri (Lagos State Model College Igbokuta – male); Oyenuga Elijah (Command Day Secondary School Oshodi – male); and Sulaiman Faizat Toyosi (Government Senior Model College Owutu, Ikorodu – female).
According to the First Lady, “This initiative is in line with the THEMES Agenda of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu led administration especially the pillar E that speaks to Education and Technology. It is also in furtherance of the vision of the Office of the First Lady which is to impact lives and build legacies. “We are basically embarking on the Lagos Exams Support Scheme to increase the quota of students who have successfully completed WASSCE or JSCE in order to attain the goal of free education till Secondary School, as well as ensure that the social capital in our dear state is not depleted bearing in mind that SSCE is the constitutional requirement for leadership in Nigeria.
“We also, believe that we can share in the responsibility of mitigating the economic hardships that most residents whose children or wards attend private schools face due to the unexpected hardships brought by COVID-19 pandemic and also ensure that the vulnerable children benefit from this sort of initiative without taking over the responsibility of parental duties from parents. “We don’t want to play the role of the parents. We understand that the parents have a role to play. We just don’t want to leave any child behind. We want all the children to sit for their examinations and become successful people in future.
“For us, we believe that this initiative will also help to provide statistics for the state to further plan service delivery and also reduce the number of idle adolescents both boys and girls by engaging them to prepare for their bright future.” Besides, the First Lady admonished the beneficiaries to reciprocate the gesture of her office by studying hard and coming through with flying colors in the exams, adding: “This is important to guarantee success and move to the next level in your academic pursuits.” Responding, the beneficiaries and their parents commended the First Lady for the gesture, saying it would go a long way to alleviate their plights with regards to the outstanding school fees to be able to participate in the WAEC exams. It would be recalled that the application process was done online after which the application went through rigorous sorting, verification, and payments by the LES 2021 Ad-hoc Implementation Team before the successful candidates emerged.
The beneficiaries were selected from over 70 secondary schools across the state, while the criteria used in selecting them include that they must be students who live and school in any private or public school in Lagos and had registered for WASSCE or JSCE but have outstanding fees. In the first edition last year, a total of 48 students benefited from 46 schools across the state.