By Omogbolahan Adisa
Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has appealed to corporate organizations and individuals to assist the state in the capacity building of its teachers as part of state government’s Adopt-A-School Programme even as he saluted their courage and steadfastness in meeting the challenges of delivering quality education in the state.
Fashola made the appeal in Lagos at the annual Breakfast Meeting he had with sponsors/donors/partners of the state government’s Adopt-A-School Programme, held at the City Hall, Lagos, southwest Nigeria.
The Governor commended the steadfastness and commitment demonstrated by the partners and donors since the inception of the programme five years ago stressing that attendance at the meeting has not waned but rather has grown, expanded and become richer.
He pointed out that between 2010 and 2013, the state government has expended no fewer than half a billion naira on the training of 12,000 teaching staff in public primary schools and 21,000 secondary schools teachers in the state adding that the involvement of the sponsors and donors in this regard cannot be over emphasized.
Fashola stated that state government is now looking at into rewarding professionalism by accepting any additional professional certificate which any teacher might have acquired on a part–time basis noting that government will give value and consummate remuneration to whatever professional qualifications any teacher has and that performance evaluation will now focus on ICT competence of teachers.
The Governor explained that the state government plans to elevate the Colleges of Education into degree awarding institutions just has he emphasized the need for teachers to be skilled not just in their subjects but also in the means of developing the students in the classroom in order to make them (the students) well rounded individuals .
He also harped on the importance of nutrition in the mental development of a child noting that the brain demands more glucose to function properly hence he urged parents to ensure that their children are well fed before leaving homes.
The Governor stated further that the issues of maintenance of schools is the direct responsibility of Tutors General/Permanent Secretaries of all the education districts in the state adding that they are expected to collate and forward any maintenance-related issue to the Ministry by April/May so that any repairs could be undertaken when the students are on vacation and completed before they resume in September.
He also revealed that the state government has initiated a pilot internet fiber optic at Yaba Optics broad band which will be switched on within the next two or three weeks with 28 public schools in the state benefiting from it.
Governor Fashola also charged teachers in the state to ensure the improvement of the 41 percent the credit pass recorded by students in the state in WAEC to at least 60 percent before the end of his tenure.
Earlier, the state Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye, expressed appreciation to donors, sponsors and partners who have contributed “big and small” to the development of the education sector.
She noted that the journey is not one of a single day or a single step but one of continuous efforts geared at reaching a state of Eldorado in all areas of the education sector.
She thanked the donors on behalf of the beneficiaries of the kind gestures the future leaders) noting that service to a cause greater than self creates common ground by bringing together diverse individuals who share a similar commitment to work for the common good of a people.