By OLASUNKANMI AKONI & MONSUR OLOWOOPEJO
LAGOS — Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, yesterday, presented cheques worth N256 million to 128 public secondary schools in the state, as reward for academic excellence.
This came as the governor said his administration recently, employed 1200 new teachers to boost teaching and learning in the state public secondary schools.
Fashola handed the cheques to the schools at the third edition of the Lagos Eko Project Awards, a World Bank assisted project, held in Ikeja.
The event was attended by former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ajibola, Chief Molade Okoya-Thomas, among other eminent personalities.
The governor noted that each of the 128 schools selected from the 661 junior and senior secondary schools in the state will receive N2 million, explaining that the gesture was to encourage the schools and urged them to ultilise the money to further develop their schools.
Explaining the reason for the award, the governor said it was conceived to enhance academic standards through the promotion of healthy rivalry among schools in the state.
According to him, “the award has enabled us to diligently monitor performances of students, schools, and teachers and promote academic excellence in Lagos public secondary schools.”
The governor said the programme, “midwifed by the Lagos Eko Secondary Education Project, was one of the efforts by the state to transform public education in the state.
“In 2008 the pass rate of our pupils who made credits in five subjects including English and Mathematics was just 10.5 per cent. But by 2012 it tripled to 38.5 per cent. This is not our destination.
“We hope our results will keep getting better than those of the preceding year. That is what we want and we are working towards that.”
Fashola, however, announced the award of international leadership training for 24 teachers and principals who performed remarkably in the discharge of their duties.
Speaking on employment, Fashola said: “Recently, we employed 1200 teachers and they are currently undergoing requisite documentation to formalise their appointment to join the team of the reliable workforce of the state.
“All these are to ensure that we leave no stone unturned in the bid to revolutionise the education and restore confidence in the public schools.”
He said 19 new schools had been established across the six education districts in the state to widen access to public education, saying, “it has increased the number of secondary schools in the state from 641 to 661.”