By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Lagos State Government, through the state Waste Management Authority, LAWMA, has concluded plans to incorporate waste management in the curriculum of primary schools in the state.
The initiative, being organized in collaboration with the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board, LASUBEB, was designed to re-orientate and inculcate the culture of environmental discipline in younger generations for a sustainable environment.
At the inaugural training of teachers, themed: “Waste Education in the 21st Century,” held at LASUBEB, Maryland, on Tuesday, the Managing Director, LAWMA, Mr Ibrahim Odumboni, explained that incorporating waste management in the academic curriculum of primary schools, was the most creative way of reshaping the environmental consciousness of the younger generation.
According to him, “The initiative has become necessary to mitigate reckless dumping of waste around Lagos.
“It is not enough to keep sweeping the streets of Lagos to keep it clean but to arrest indiscriminate dumping around the city from the grassroots.”
Odumboni, who commended the state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu for his consistent support and effort at repositioning LAWMA, said; “We have decided to change the narrative of waste management through the young ones by catching them young.
“Because we understand that teachers are the best advocates and change agents whose impact cannot be shoved aside.
“We are optimistic that incorporating waste management into the primary school curriculum, would not only be taught but put into practice for the students and with time, become a tradition.”
Reiterating the need to catch the pupils young for them to serve as change agents, Odumboni noted, that LAWMA Academy, a knowledge hub of waste management operated by the agency, was borne out of the need to manage waste in a smart and modern way and instil a sound understanding of waste management in pupils to turn waste to wealth.
“The challenge of improper waste management among Lagos residents is as a result of not having a proper understanding of waste management and not being environment friendly.
“Therefore, we need to teach these children how to understand sorting of waste and keeping their environment clean, while regional training will be held in schools from time to time.
“This will no doubt help them develop a positive attitude towards waste and in future, we would have proud waste managers and business experts among them.”
However, the Chairman of LASUBEB, Wahab Alawiye King, expressed appreciation to LAWMA, for coming up with the laudable initiative, describing it as the first of its kind in sub-Sahara Africa.
According to him, “At LASUBEB, our aim is to create an enabling environment for quality education for pupils, as well as improve quality of teaching and learning.
“Therefore, we will work together with LAWMA and instil environmental discipline in the pupils to make them conscious of their actions and inactions towards the environment.
“We are thankful for this thoughtful and impactful initiative”.
Also, the Chief Technical Officer of LAWMA, Dr Olorunwa Tijani, commended Governor Sanwo-Olu for his continuous support to the agency, noting that, LAWMA’s collaboration with LASUBEB on the curriculum issue would invariably change the waste management culture of the pupils and adults in future.
Papers presented include Solid Waste Management in the 21st Century by Dr Essien Nsuabia; LAWMA Academy and Brief on Establishment of Waste Clubs and Incorporation of Waste Management in Primary Schools by Mrs Elizabeth Ademola; as well as Waste Education in 21st Century by Dr Michael Ahove, among others.
Other dignitaries at the event include Sherifat Abiodun Adedoyin, Permanent Member, Lagos SUBEB board, Dayo Israel, Permanent Member, Lagos SUBEB Board, Dr Nsuabia Essien, Assistant General Manager, Waste Management Development and the AGM Human Resources and Admin, Mr Taoheed Dosumu, among others.