By Olasunkanmi Akoni
The Lagos State Government has announced plans to establish an Education Radio Station for mainly educational content aimed at improving qualitative education in the state.
Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, disclosed this on Friday, during the 2021 ministerial press briefing to mark the second anniversary of Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration.
According to Adefisayo,”The state has filed for licensing of the radio station. It would serve as a channel for educational and training content for pupils and teachers only. It is a long process because approval has to come from Abuja, but we have started the process and I think we are getting close to approval.”
The commissioner also disclosed plans to establish special skill-based schools (mono-academies) that would appeal to specific interests of learners; and the establishment of six mathematics laboratories in each of the six education districts.
She said: “We will establish four mono-academies – multi-media and ICT academy (we have found a facility for this); fashion institute, construction academy, and agric/mechanical academy, in partnership with the private sector, because we want to give our pupils more options. If you cannot attend university, you can have a career in something you are good at and love doing. We will also give them the skills so they can be master practitioners.”
“We will also establish six mathematics laboratories, and Casio has promised to donate the six labs to us in the six educational districts. We plan to roll out 150 computer systems in our vocational colleges; another 30,000 devices across all our schools, and even more, complete with the scheme of work, for our pupils because their generation is so adept with it and is tech-savvy. We want to teach them in the way they like to be taught so they will learn as they should learn.”
Also, Special Adviser to the governor on education Adetokunbo Wahab, while giving an account of his office in the last year, said the state planned to convert the state colleges of education and polytechnic to universities.
According to him, the state executive council decided on the conversion based on the preference for university education.
He said: “In the past few months we have had discussions on the future of our colleges of education. At the EXCO level, we have resolved to upgrade our colleges of education – Michael Otedola College of Primary Education and the Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education – into universities of education. The same will apply to our polytechnic at Ikorodu.
“There has been so much discrimination between university qualifications and polytechnic qualifications, such that polytechnic graduates have to do conversion programmes to remain relevant. So we are seeking to convert the polytechnic to the Lagos State University of Science and Technology.”
Wahab also disclosed that120,000 Public Primary and Secondary school pupils/students across its Six Educational Districts have been empowered with basic computer skills under its Digital Skills Initiative, DSI.
The students/ pupils were trained in the areas of Basic Computer Skills, Coding Skills, Scratch, Cloud Service and World Wide Web, Internet Technology, Interactive and Visualized Coding to prepare them ahead of the global information technology requirement.
Wahab explained further that DSI, which was implemented in collaboration with private companies was aimed at empowering youths and young students in Lagos Primary and Secondary schools by equipping them with knowledge, skills, and know-how that would enable them to thrive in the technology space in a couple of years’ time and compete in the future job market with digital skills like their counterparts from any part of the world.
While noting that Digital Skills Initiative is in tandem with the state government vision for education and technology, which is the third Pillar of the T.H.E.M.E.S development agenda of the administration in the state.
‘’Digital Skills Initiative is a program that aimed at providing opportunities for pupils of the state of Lagos to learn coding skills, basic computer skills, introduction to the World Wide Web and internet technology so as to develop their digital skill and prepare them for the 21st-century global information technology challenges, Eko Digital Skills is one of our own way of achieving Education and Technology part of the six Pillars Development Agenda of Governor Sanwo-Olu administration and Mr. Governor is very passionate about this project and had committed huge resources into it,” he stated.
He added that 25,000 students have so far benefited from different ICT training programmes under Phase 2 of the scheme. They were trained in different areas of ICT knowledge including; Computer networking, Coding, Computing and Advance worldwide Web, internet technology skills such as cloud computing and virtualization, among others.
According to the governor’s aides, the achievements of the administration in the education sector in the last year include – the implementation of 1,097 projects across over 300 schools; training and employment of new teachers; enhancement of special needs education; provision of scholarships and bursaries worth N218,795,000 to 6,411 students.