Monday 4 July 2011

Lagos state Governor sends son to study carpentry

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, on Thursday said he had sent one of his children to a carpenter’s worshop to learn vocational skills.
He spoke during the maiden edition of Governor’s Education Award held in Lagos on Thursday. 
One hundred and twenty six schools that distinguished themselves in the utilisation of the Lagos Eko Secondary Education Project (Eko Project) were rewarded with N2m each by the state government.
The Lagos Eko project is part of the government’s effort at improving the overall quality of education and learning outcomes of pupils in the 629 junior and senior public schools in the state over four years.
Fashola told the audience that he was surprised that his son could not fix a plug after six years of sound post-primary education.
“I called my son and asked him, what do you want to do now that you have finished your secondary education? He replied, ‘I want to do something with my hand.
“And I asked him, can you fix a plug? He said no. Then, I knew there was a problem and we (my wife and I) decided to send him to a carpenter’s workshop to acquire some skills,’’ the governor said.
On the award, Fashola said that 126 junior and senior secondary schools, out of 628 schools in the state would receive an award of N2m each, towards the improvement of their schools.
He said that the awardees were selected based on their percentage improvement over a period of time in the standardised assessments administered by Lagos Eko Project. 
“I am particularly impressed by the enterprising disposition of the awardees, because they have shown their commitment and determination to turn the huge investment in education into a much desired improved learning outcomes in public schools within a short space of time,” he said. 
Fashola restated his commitment to the development of the education sector. 
He said he would spare no efforts at developing public education in the state because he was a product of the public school system.
Though, he admitted that there were still challenges in the sector, he noted that these were being methodically tackled and surmounted. 
This, he said, was being done through strategies to address quality, improve infrastructure, content and involvement of the private sector in the uplift of the sector.
“We have also through the Eko Education Project, increased funding directly to the schools, by placing the funds in the hands of principals and teachers, working with the School Parent Teacher Association to directly manage their school needs and eliminate the bureaucracy and delays that sometimes occur in funding recurrent expenditure through the ministry.
This, he said, had been yielding positive fruits as “We have noticed the annual percentage pass results gradually increasing from 2007 – 2010 from 7 per cent, 10 per cent, 18 per cent and 21 per cent for each consecutive year.”
Also, the Special Adviser/Project Coordinator of the project, Ms Ronke Azeez, said the schools that were rewarded recorded the highest percentage increase in their performance. 
This, she said, they did by deploying the grant given to them on procurement of essential instructional materials, carrying out minor repairs, training of teachers, provision of security and good project management in their schools.
Azeez noted that these had contributed to a more conducive environment for effective teaching and learning. 
Some of the schools that received the award included Vetland Junior Grammar School, Olodi Apapa Senior Secondary School, Ijeododo Senior Grammar School and Girls Secondary School, Obalende.

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Written by Segun Olugbile for Punchng

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