By Gbenga Salau
The Lagos State government has concluded plans to equip over 120,000 pupils in 720 primary and secondary schools with Information Communication Technology (ICT), networking, and other tech skills in 2021 through its Eko Digital Initiative.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Tokunbo Wahab, at the launch of Eko Digital Initiative 2021, said the aim was to prepare the schoolchildren for the ICT revolution, which he described as the Fourth Revolution.
Wahab added that to achieve this, the government has redesigned the erstwhile Digital Skills Initiative to Eko Digital Initiative to take the programme beyond its previous state, as well as achieve a more in-depth training of the digital skills in schools across the state.
“The Eko Digital programme is strategically placed to train and equip young students in Lagos State Government primary and high schools with the knowledge, skills and know-how that would enable them to thrive in the technology space in a couple of years’ time”.
He explained that under the new initiative, within this year, the government would be embarking on three phases of the programme, saying, the over 120,000 schoolchildren would be trained during first phase of the programme.
“The second phase will be to train those that are out of schools. And they will be trained digital marketing, sales management, data analytic, programming, clouding project management and many others.
“And in the third phase, we will come to the schools again and pick another over 100 schools from each district. What we intend to do is to ensure we integrate it with our library programme. It is not going to change the content, but to complement what we already have on ground”.
Wahab further disclosed that the new initiative was designed to have Tutor-General and Permanent Secretary (TG/PS) of each district to be the major drivers of the programme within their districts, adding that they own the schools and can ensure that this programme goes round the selected schools within their districts.
Responding, the TG/PS for Education District III, Dr. Olayinka Ayandele, said training the students on ICT would prepare them for future challenges, particularly when they are out of school.
Ayandele, who assured government that she and her colleagues were ready to ensure the project achieve its successes, stressed that it would boost the standard of education in the state.
“We will work together, all the six districts, and ensure that the students are properly engaged both online and offline. Doing this, it will benefit the students and their communities,” she said.