By ABUBAKAR YUSUF.
The Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration in Lagos state has given hope to the hopeless with education as the bedrock of the society, as well as one of the core mandate of social services to ordinary Nigerians, in view of the desire of the country to meeting up the SDGs Goals.
Before the inception of the present administration, education in Lagos state was in shambles and sorry state, with the private schools cashing in on the inability of the public schools to carry out it’s statutory functions from payments of salaries, infrastructural development, personel development and quality education for the children of the ordinary Nigerians and Lagosians, as the private schools charged exorbitant and astronomical fees that could not be contained by poor citizens.
Since the primary duty of government and leadership is to provide affordable health services, education, job creation among many others, the current administration of Sanwo-Olu designed a well thought out template to drive the educational curriculum and programs of Lagos state.
This was geared towards nipping in the bud , out of school children compounded by both natural and artificial occurrences, not encouraged by the global economic and health challenges bedeviling the third world countries, with Lagos not in exception.
Sanwo-Olu kicked the ground running through the introduction of free and compulsory education both at the primary and secondary school levels, a system abandoned and enjoyed more than three decades during the first republic of Obafemi Awolowo/Jakande administration in the old western region and second republic.
Reintroducing the old education legacies by Sanwo-Olu/Hamzat administration became a rallying point for primary and secondary school students without discrimination, extraction or identity to access quality education in the present Lagos state.
This had increased enrollments into the elementary levels of primary and the intermediate levels of secondary schools, with free for all text books and other relevant materials provided both for the students of all levels of education in the state.
The Governor embarked on massive infrastructural rejuvenation and development by carrying out wholistic renovation of schools from primary to secondary as well construction of over 10,000 primary and secondary schools building to give the the two levels of education a new look , so as to create an enabling environment to competing favourably with the private ones and discouraged exodus of pupils from the two levels of education from the public to the private schools.
Inline with the Universal Basic Education Commission UBEC curriculum, the state government had embarked on massive trainings and re-trainings of both academic and non academic staffs of schools and paid counterpart funding to UBEC up to date, unlike the lackluster attitude of some states towards not accessing the funds .
Since primary and Secondary education is the foundation of both tertiary and higher education, the decision of Lagos state government under Babajide Sanwo-Olu/ Hamzat to fund the two levels cannot be overemphasized, as the good decision taken by the present administration had improved the foundation level of education in Lagos state.
The government’s huge investments in education running into trillions had relived the confidence reposed on public schools to the improvement and betterment of our society, particularly with the reintroduction of free education witnessed during the first and second republic of Awolowo/Lateef Jakande’s administration.
The replication, reintroduction, rebranding and rejigging of the policies of free education had encouraged the education stakeholders into taking the business of education in Lagos state as top priority.
With a solid foundation, the efficacy of the tertiary and university education was no longer uphill, with the introduction of programs and policies that had encouraged mass development of tertiary education sector by reducing the tuition fees of students across Colleges of Education, Polytechnics, School of Nursing, and the State Universities among many others.
The establishment of the Lagos state University of Science and Technology LASUSTECH at the critical period of economic downturn, financial crunch among many others showed the level of commitment of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu/Hamzat administration towards bequeathing a sound education to the cosmopolitan Lagos state.
The huge investments running into trillions from the Primary, Secondary, Tertiary and University Education had placed education in the public service competing more favorably with the privately owned institutions, hence reducing and bridging the gap between the rich and the poor in the society in the area of assessment of social services across the state and the country at large.
With such gigantic investments and achievements recorded overtime of four years, no doubt, the current administration when re-elected will stabilized it’s policies and programs towards a repositioned education system in Lagos.
The newly established LASUSTECH under the administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu/Hamzat will not only create unequal job opportunities, but opened up both enterpreneurial and empowerment as well as skill development outlets for ordinary Nigerians and Lagosians.
According to the general adage and beliefs, Sanwo-Olu’s investments in education had justified the popular saying that “If you think Education is costly ,try ignorance.”
The seamless position of the present administration through all round development of education sector and free education policy had returned the sector to it’s lost glory.
All hands must be on deck to re-elect the Lagos state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu/ Hamzat to ensure continuity of people oriented programs and policies.
Written By ABUBAKAR YUSUF and can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org.