Mrs Folashade Adefisayo, the Honourable Commissioner for Education (centre), Mr Rotimi Erogbogbo, Chairman, Ikorodu – Oga Development Association (IKODASS) (3rd left), Mr Seun Elesho, Secretary General, IKODASS (2nd left), Mr Austin Awulonu, Chief of Staff to the IKODASS Chairman (left), Mrs F.A.T. Olanrewaju, Chieftain of IKODASS (2nd right) and Mr Animahun, Executive Member, IKODASS (right) during the visit of the IKODASS team to the Commissioner for Education.
Efforts of the Ikorodu – Oga Development Association (IKODASS), a socio – cultural and development body under the leadership of Mr Rotimi Erogbogbo, to provide educational intervention in the community, has received commendations and support from the Lagos State Ministry of Education .
The Honourable Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folashade Adefisayo, gave the commendations and support for the educational development initiative of IKODASS while receiving representatives of the body led by its Chairman, Mr Erogbogbo, in the Ministry’s Conference Room in Alausa Secretariat on Friday, July 23, 2021.
The meeting was held on the request of IKODASS after sending the communiqué of its Stakeholders’ Meeting on the state of education in lkorodu, themed: ‘Education in Ikorodu : Another Look’, held at Eroz on June 26, 2021, to the Commissioner of Education.
During the interactive session during which everyone in the IKODASS' delegation participated, issues were raised on the need to relocate the Allinson market from its present location which is close to the school environment, ensure that beer parlors, game/betting centers, and brothels are not sited near schools; address overpopulation in classrooms and reintroduction of sporting activities in schools.
Other issues discussed were – the need to change teacher’s mindsets, attitudes and also encourage them; the need to bring back dignity to the teaching profession; the need for the establishment of more schools, especially in new areas, and the need for adequate security in schools among many others.
Mrs. Adefisayo, while commending the association for its intervention, also said that the state government is doing enough towards changing the narratives in the educational sector in the state.
She gave highlights of the state government's efforts and plans so far to further improve the quality of education in the state.
“What you want to do is great and you have my support for them all. It will support what we are already doing in the state.
“There is a lot of work going on and we will appreciate your efforts too in supporting us.
“A child cannot be brought up by the parents alone but by the tripartite arrangement which includes the parents, community and the government and that is the role that your body and the government is playing now”, she added.
“Government is making efforts in our schools through Eko Excel which is aimed at cultural changes in teaching.
“It teaches values, morals and celebrates excellence. It is meant to allow students to develop in all aspects.
She stated that the state government is trying to expand the Eko Excel initiative while also revealing that the school curriculum has been reviewed.
The Commissioner also charged communities to provide lands in areas that they are in need of schools.
“We would like to build new schools but there are no lands. We are happy that the community, through your body, is ready to partner with us and we will appreciate your support in this regard”, Mrs Adefisoye said.
“We have just reviewed the curriculum in our schools but have not yet launched it. We are piloting it.
Adefisoye, who said that the state government gave out gadgets to students during the COVID-19 lockdown to improve support and their studies, also revealed that the government will be buying more gadgets for the students in Senior Secondary School three later this year.
She also said that efforts are on to install internet facilities in schools across the state.
“Lagos State Government will be buying more gadgets to be distributed to SSS 3 students across the state to improve their studies but they cannot do without social media on it.
“We are laying underground cables that will be going into schools so that they can have unlimited access to the internet.
The Honourable Commissioner also said that teachers in public schools have been encouraged and motivated to perform better in the state, adding that they are better paid than in any other state in the country.
“Our teachers are better paid than any state in Nigeria and also promptly too”, she said.
“We have been giving prizes to our teachers too.
“Eko Excel has trained about 15, 000 teachers in Lagos and we are also taking them out. We are planning to extend the Eko Excel initiative to secondary schools”, she revealed.
Speaking on the major aspect of the curricular review, the Commissioner for Education said that the state government is planning to introduce skill acquisition studies in secondary schools to accommodate students.
“Since not every child will go to the University or Polytechnic , we are planning to start a scheme to accommodate students who don't want to further their education but are interested in acquiring skills.
“We are going to start with a pilot scheme in September. It will be in a normal school environment.
She also revealed that students of Oreyo Grammar School in Igbogbo who engaged in Shisha smoking in a viral video on the internet are still undergoing rehabilitation in the juvenile center
Mr Rotimi Erogbogbo, Chairman, IKODASS, speaking earlier, commended the Commissioner for the prompt response to the association’s request for the meeting and the opportunity to interact with her for development of education in Ikorodu.
“This meeting is a pointer that the Commissioner takes education seriously in the state”, he said.
“The purpose of our visit is to let you know that IKODASS does not take education lightly in Ikorodu and we want to partner with the government as a major stakeholder, in developing the sector.
“We are developing an agenda to change the narrative in the next two years.
“We have gone round to see the state of our schools and education generally in Ikorodu. Due to this, we called for stakeholders’ meeting and it is the communiqué from the meeting that was attached with the letter sent to your good office.
The IKODASS Chairman said that the meeting is necessary to get the state approval for the implementation of some of the recommendations from the stakeholders’ meeting.
“Our aim is to implement the outcomes of the stakeholders’ meeting but we are of the view that we need your cooperation, support and above all, the approval of your good office before going ahead to implement some of these recommendations”, he said.
“This is because we want to be in tandem with the state government’s policy on education and not in conflict with it.
“We are here to rub minds on the way forward in dealing with students, teachers, infrastructures and other factors that have major impacts on our educational system.
According to the IKODASS Chairman, some of the agenda that came out of the stakeholders’ meeting held in July are:
“We are looking at organizing a teachers’ conference to engage and train our teachers in Ikorodu as part of our support in developing education.
“For the parents, we are also working towards calling for a parents’ forum to interact with them and let them know what is expected of them.
“We want the support of the government in making use of the officers of the Lagos State Neighbourhood Watch in managing and controlling the traffic of students that are usually outside when they are supposed to be in schools.
“Neighbouthood Watch, as agency of the government have a crucial and critical roles to play in this regard by monitoring our students and ensure that they are in schools.
Also speaking, Mr Seun Elseho, the IKODASS Secretary General, assured the Commissioner that the body is available to work and cooperate with the state government in developing the educational sector.
“Thank you for this privilege of having the opportunity to chart a way forward for education in Ikorodu. As a body, IKODASS is always ready to work, partner and cooperate with you in finding a way forward for our education”, he said.
“Our aim is to get simple local solutions to our problems in Ikorodu . We want to partner with the government and also help ourselves.
“We are ready to assist the government achieve its THEMES agenda”, Elesho added.