By Etop Ekanem
An 11-year-old pupil of Solomon Memorial Primary School, Epe, Latifat Amusat, has stood out with her academic excellence in the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board’s (LASUBEB) EKOEXCEL programme.
‘Meet EKOEXCEL’ is a quarterly campaign that showcases pupil and teacher excellence using the pupil’s grade levels and teacher performances.
Amusat, the Senior Girl of Solomon Memorial Primary School, Epe, clinched the debut honours with her perfect scores of 100 per cent in English Studies, Basic Science and Mathematics.
Born on November 26, 2011, Latifat is the first of four children born to parents who are now divorced. As a result of the divorce, she and her siblings live with their grandmother in Epe.
Speaking on her unique feat, Amusat, who wants to be a human rights lawyer, said being a good example to her siblings is her primary motivation to study hard and excel.
“My favourite subject is English Language, and I love to learn new vocabulary. I use my textbooks, homework and other materials provided by EKOEXCEL to study after school to be an outstanding pupil,” she said.
The pupil, who added that her hobbies are reading and playing football, thanked her teachers and the Lagos State Government, which initiated the transformational EKOEXCEL in 2019.
Commenting on Amusat’s performance, her headteacher, Mrs Funmilayo Odunlami, also recognised, praised the pupil’s diligence and affirmed that EKOEXCEL has been massively beneficial to students and teachers.
“Latifat is an exceptional student who continues to work hard and be a shining example to her siblings and our pupils in Solomon Memorial Primary School, Epe. I daresay she’s a good ambassador of EKOEXCEL and the positive changes it is bringing to pupils and teachers of public primary schools. We are blessed to have her,” she said.
Since its launch in 2019 by Governor BabajideSanwo-Olu, EKOEXCEL has had a positive impact on pupils and teachers in the state’s public schools.
A recently released EKOEXCEL 2020-2021 Endline Fluency and Numeracy Evaluation showed that EKOEXCEL pupils are making remarkable progress in oral reading fluency and foundational numeracy compared to their performance before the initiative’s commencement.
The report further showed that an average Primary 3 EKOEXCEL pupil is now reading at nearly the same fluency level as an average Primary 5 pupil before the EKOEXCEL programme’s launch.
On average, EKOEXCEL Primary 2-3 pupils outperform 13 other country contexts on the International Common Assessment of Numeracy (ICAN), while Primary 4-6 rank third out of 14 country contexts on the same numeracy assessment.
Crucially, the evaluation affirms that EKOEXCEL is improving learning over what existed before and continuing to enhance knowledge.
Besides pupils, EKOEXCEL has also moved over 18,000 headteachers and teachers from analogue to digital teaching, using tablets and an updated curriculum. EKOEXCEL has also enhanced the teacher-pupil interaction experience through technology (eLearning) in Lagos State primary schools.
The programme has also led to a drastic reduction in out-of-school children in the state, taking several of them out of harm’s way on the streets and enrolling them in schools through the ‘Leave No Child Behind’ policy.