By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Lagos State Government, yesterday, disclosed plans to empower over 100,000 pupils in 720 primary and secondary schools with Information Communication Technology (ICT), networking, and other technological skills in 2022 through its Eko Digital Initiative in developing the educational sector.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Tokunbo Wahab, who disclosed while briefing newsmen on activities of his office, at Alausa, Ikeja, said the aim, was to prepare the schoolchildren for the ICT revolution, which he described as the “Fourth Revolution.”
According to him, “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 technical know-how that would enable them to thrive in the technology space.”
Wahab, said over 341,000 students in public and private schools have benefited so far in the initiative, while 60,000 penultimate and final year students of higher institutions across the state benefited from the state’s Job Initiative in the last two years.
Wahab who stated that the administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is investing in human capital development, which is key to development, added that the budget performance of the office of Special Adviser on Education last year stood at 99.5 five per cent, with hope to perform optimally in 2022.
The Special Adviser, said in 2021, the present administration through the office upgraded 155, libraries in public schools across the state to revive reading culture among students, while a plan is on to upgrade 200 more.
Wahab, also stated that the allocation of 12.6 per cent of the budget to the education sector this year, will address more Infrastructural deficit in schools across the state, while work will intensify on the over 8000 bed space hostel being built at the Lagos State University, LASU, Ọjo.
Wahab, explained that by next week, recognition will be granted to the state by the National Universities Commission (NUC) to run the two new upgraded state universities.
He said, ‘’Last year was very eventful, one of our major Key Performance Indicator (KPI was that we were going to have a two new universities, two years ago we had done our findings, we had engaged consultants and the numbers were not looking good with respect to two of our institutions, those are colleges of educations, the enrolment was dwindling, the subvention we grant them every month was going up, same for their running cost, so we must do something urgently.
‘’The UTMC structure has made it clear to us that the best of our students are good for the universities, the second best will go to the polytechnics, the others will go to the colleges of education.
“You need to also bear in mind that NCE as a certificate is no more commanding in the market. Then the discrimination against Higher National Diploma, HND in the market was something we needed to address holistically, hence, we approached the Lagos State House of Assembly with two bills.
‘’This one, we thank the governor, the house of assembly and the Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa who showed leadership as usual.
“This is going to be the major part of this governor’s legacies, it showed that he has planned and prepared for the future of Lagos, Lagos students and their education ’’