A non-governmental organisation, NGO, Youth Advocate for Change, has concluded plans to stage a one-day interactive forum on Advancing Inclusive Education in Lagos Slum Communities.
The target participants/beneficiaries for the capacity-building programme include school owners, government officials, private sector players, civil society groups and young people living in four slums communities: Ilaje in Bariga Local Government; Iwaya-Makoko, Mainland Local Government Development Area; Ikate in Lekki and Agboyi-Ketu in Ketu Local Government Area, all in Lagos.
Convener and Team Leader of Youth Advocate for Change, Adeola Ogunlade, told newsmen in Lagos, on Wednesday, that the programme, schedule for March 7 at Eden Centre, Iwaya, Yaba, Lagos at 12noon, was aimed at enhancing inter-sectoral and multi-stakeholder partnership.
He added that the objective was to ensure that marginalised children in slum communities are not left behind in the effort toward achieving inclusive education for all children, irrespective of their location, gender and socio-economic challenges.
He noted that Lagos State, with a population of about 21 million people and annual GDP growth rate of 1.5%, is ironically, home to over 100 slums which are challenged by the burden of poverty, inadequate infrastructure, filthy environment and none or inadequate education facilities for young people.
Ogunlade pointed out that available evidence and education survey show that enrollment of children in schools in the target four communities is poor, especially among the girl-child, while completing basic education remains a challenge.
According to him, “DFID noted in 2011 the challenges of teaching and learning in marginalised or low income areas in Lagos State, as a result of the limited number of public schools and an upsurge of private schools with untrained teachers, inadequate infrastructure.
“Even where children attend schools, learning outcomes are poor and not serving the best interests of the children and Lagos State as a whole.
“Although Lagos State government is improving its spending toward teacher’s training, building new schools, mainstreaming digital technology in public schools and improving learning outcomes among students, it is evident from research that the impact of government in advancing the educational opportunities for slum dwellers is limited and sometime not available.
“This conference will help to review the standard of education in slum communities and provide a platform for shared responsibilities among all stakeholders, including government, private sector players, schools owners, teachers, and community heads for an improvement in the standard of education needed for slum dwellers in the 21st century.”
Dignitaries expected at the forum are Commissioner for Education, Lagos State, Mrs. Adefisayo Folashade; Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Education, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab; South West Director, National Education Research Development Council, Dr. Dada Shonibare.
Others are Head, Health Sector Strategy and Innovation, Sterling Bank Plc, Mr. Adewale Adebowale; President, Lagos State Chamber of Commerce, Mrs Toki Mabogunje; National Coordinator, Inner-City Mission, Jackson Iboro, and Co-Founder, What More Can I Give, Ibitoye Olufemi, among others.