The Lagos State Government at the weekend restated its commitment to the improvement of all inputs necessary for the delivery of quality education in the State?s public schools to enable them turn out potential future leaders of the country.
According to the state?s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Aderemi Ibirogba, while the successes of the State Government in several vital State sectors like health, economic opportunity and education have resulted in a sustained streaming in of people from across the country and the West African sub-region seeking to enjoy the social infrastructure, the administration has never lost sight of its responsibility to the citizenry especially in the area of education.
While interacting with newsmen in Lagos Saturday, the Commissioner said the school environment, general infrastructure, type and sufficiency of learning equipment and the quality of the teaching personnel are some of the areas which, according to him, Government has focused on over the years with visible and positive outcome as shown in the steadily improving West African School Certificate results.
As he said, the state has in the Last six years, built 5,204 new classrooms to cater for the growing student population which has increased over the years to 1,198,624 (578,504 in primary and 620,120 in secondary schools). All these are housed in the 664 schools spread across the state.
The state he added, also rehabilitated 6,666 classrooms within the period, provided 197 schools with science laboratory, built ICT laboratory in 120 schools, supplied 212 schools with science materials and installed intro-tech laboratories in 73 schools. Also, 1,409,476 textbooks were distributed freely to students while 387, 133 furniture were provided to students to make them learn in a conducive environment.
The Commissioner also explained that seven multi-lingual laboratories, proper toilets, five government technical colleges and 21 vocational centres were provided for the use of the public during the period. The government has also recently recruited 10, 000 teachers.
Similarly, the government he said, introduced a novel; Lagos Eko project, an intervention programme with which it has fast-tracked the development of schools and training of teachers in order to improve learning outcomes in all junior and senior secondary schools. The project, recently rated by World Bank as being ?highly satisfactory? has helped to reduce the usual bureaucracies in government and improved the process and time of intervention in education through direct grants to schools.
All these, according to the Commissioner have resulted in the rapid rise in the student to pass level in the West African School Certificate exam which moved from a dismal 10 percent pass with five credits including English and Mathematics in 2008 to an encouraging 41 percent pass at credit level in 2013.
The Commissioner admitted that there could be areas to do more, as most of these facilities provided would require constant replacement since they are used by students who, as a result of age would damage them and assured that the government would continue to constantly maintain them and provide more to replace damaged ones.
Out of these, 85percent passed English, 84percent passed Mathematics and 84percent scaled through in Biology to make the students performance exceed World Bank benchmark.