Lagos State Government on Wednesday expressed its readiness to support teachers in achieving better learning outcomes in classrooms with the introduction of ‘EkoEXCEL’ initiative aimed at advancing the education sector in the State.
EkoEXCEL is an education reform initiative of the Babjide Sanwo-Olu’s administration that is successfully developing more highly skilled teachers; by training, supporting and motivating existing government teachers to succeed in their classrooms.
The Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, while addressing a group of education stakeholders at the EkoEXCEL stakeholders’ forum in Ikeja said that parents and other relevant stakeholders in the education sector must make deliberate attempt to complement government’s efforts to transform the State’s education sector.
In his words; “Parents must make it a habit to always ask their children what they learnt from school every day. This will create a consciousness of seriousness in the children and will also assist teachers in their quest to impart knowledge in the children.”
He said that the present administration identified education and technology as one of its policy thrust to bring about the needed changes in the sector, stressing that education and technology remained the fastest means of bridging the gap between Nigeria and the developed countries of the world.
Speaking on the global recommendation for the education sector, the Deputy Governor debunked claims that the State’s education sector was being under-funded, saying that allocation to the education sector must be viewed holistically considering the spiral effect which other critical sectors had on the education sector.
“I want to state here unequivocally that assessing the standard of Lagos State education sector by the percentage of budgetary allocation to the sector will not give a fair representation of the state government’s investment into the sector considering the fact that there are some other areas like the housing sector that indirectly impacts the education sector,” Hamzat added.
The SUBEB Chairman, Wahab Alawiye-King disclosed that the state government was working on addressing some anomalies in the sector, saying that the issue of school security, employment and deployment of teachers were already being addressed.
“As we speak, the current situation in our schools is the area of numbers of teachers, one teacher to 75 pupils. In addressing this, we are recruiting more teachers with the hope of having a teacher to 50 children. This, I believe would yield positive outcomes in the education of our primary school pupils,” the SUBEB Chairman stated.
He added that the state government also wanted to ensure that teachers were evenly distributed in addition to the provision of teachers’ quarters in hard-to-reach communities as a way of addressing accommodation issues among teachers that would be working in these rural areas.
“Teachers are at the heart of successful learning. If we want improved outcomes for pupils, the starting point must be the continuous improvement of teaching practices, leadership practices and organizational practice.
“In other words, our literary rate will not grow without having teachers who are equipped to teach pupils born in the 21st century. Through EKOEXCEL model, teacher would be able to deliver standardized learning to pupils in public primary schools in line with global standards,” Alawiye-King reiterated.
He underscored the need for education stakeholders to key into the initiative, adding that EkoEXCEL promotes modern techniques and new technologies to boost learning outcomes. “EKOEXCEL will empower our teacher to become more skillful in helping our pupils learn in a conducive environment,” he stated.
He solicited the support and collaboration of teachers and parents for the effective realization of the objectives of the EkoEXCEL programme.
The SUBEB Chairman disclosed that teachers would be trained on the use of EkoEXCEL model and that the training would be conducted in three phases, with the first phase of teachers training commencing in December 2019.