Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Saturday reaffirmed his administration's plan to transform the educational sector of the State, vowing to increase government's investment for the good of the pupils.
Over 3000 teachers from various schools and education districts across the State converged at De Blue Roof of the Lagos Television, Ikeja where the Governor formally launched the EKOEXCEL, a teachers’ professional development and training programme.
Earlier, primary school teachers went through a 2 weeks training process, organised by the State Universal Basic Education Board (LSUBEB) to increase capacity and develop manpower of teachers in the State.
Sanwo-olu noted that at the end, over 14,000 primary school teachers would have benefited from the initiative while over 500,000 pupils would have been positively impacted.
The Governor said: “I am particularly happy that this programme is holding at a time when all hands are on deck to ensure that the quality of teaching and learning is improved across all our schools in the State.
“As a responsible government, we will continue the massive investment in this sector, with the training and retraining of our teachers, making the sector more ICT compliant, exposing our teachers to international best practices as well as ensuring that our schools become a destination for work and learning.
“We resolved to address these problems through combining innovative technological approach that is scientifically based, with effective training and empowering our teachers in every Local Government to strengthen their capacity and deliver quality education to our children.”
The Governor, in a bid to encourage teachers and make good examples from outstanding ones, said the State Government will identify the best Head Teachers in all the 20 LGs and 37 LCDAs and reward them with a car each.
He noted that his administration is not paying lip service to the repositioning of the educational sector, noting that it is the reason the education ministry got a significantly higher envelope in the 2020 budget.
The Governor also promised that teachers will undergo free sight assessment and reading glasses will be provided for every teacher that requires it to be able to discharge their duties effectively.
The Chairman of LASUBEBE, Hon. Wahab Alawiye-King specifically acknowledged the encouragement and support given to the teachers throughout the period of the training by the Governor especially for his presence at the training centres, describing it as unprecedented and an enormous morale booster and motivation to the teachers.
He said that the period of the training and re-training of the teachers and school administrators on the .process of deploying innovative technology in the classroom was rigorous, saying that the innovation will aid effective teaching and learning for the overall improvement of basic education in the state.
Alawiye-King, however, enjoined the graduands to effectively deploy what has been learnt at the training programme in other to make the classroom more engaging for school pupils in all the primary schools across the State.
He reminded them of the slogan of the Board which is "Leave no child behind", saying that "you must carry all your pupils along, irrespective of their individual differences and capabilities."
He assured teachers, parents and pupils that no efforts would be spared to make the EkoExcel a policy in the education sector and ensure that the project is sustained beyond the administration of Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwoolu.
In his words, "I need to emphasize a few points and I hope that it resonates with us. As a former lawmaker, who understands that to govern is to make law, we would continue to seek the support and cooperation of the Lagos State House of Assembly to ensure that the necessary legislative framework is put in place to guarantee the sustainability of EKOEXCEL beyond this administration."
The Permanent Board Member of LASUBEB in charge of Special Project and Chairman EkoExcel Steering Committee, Hon. Bayo Adefuye, said that the state government expects a 360 turnaround in teaching and learning at the primary schools level going forward.
Apart from the technological advantage made possible through the EkoExcel training, Adefuye added that the project further exposed the participants to some basic classroom management skills and increased their sensitivity to the peculiarities of each of their pupils.
EKOEXCEL, which is Excellence in Child Learning and Education Programme is a Lagos State primary education transformation initiative.
With the EKOEXCEL Programme, over 14,000 Head Teachers and teachers will be moved from analogue to digital teaching, using tablets and updated curriculum. Over 3,000 primary school teachers from 300 public primary schools have been captured under the Pilot Scheme.
An initiative of the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration, the EKOEXCEL is aimed at developing a highly-skilled teaching workforce by training, supporting and motivating Lagos State teachers to succeed in the classroom of tomorrow and enhance the State Basic Education curriculum thereby empowering children to compete effectively in the world of work.
The programme will equip teachers with skills to deliver value, empower pupils with requisite knowledge to improve education and help in sustaining the growth of Lagos State as a leading knowledge driven city and economy in the world.