The Lagos State government has commenced the implementation of its plan to improve quality of education in all state-owned schools, with the tour of schools on Monday by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to physically assess the state of facilities.
The Governor said immediate repairs and rehabilitation of dilapidated facilities would be the first phase of the plan to strengthen the public schools, pointing out that the tour was to carry out complete assessment of the facilities to be rehabilitated.
The Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, who represented the Governor on the tour, identified provision of quality education as a top priority of the present administration, stressing that the environment in which pupils learn required sanitisation in order to get quality output.
He said: “The reason why we are embarking on a tour of our schools is to physically assess the quality of facilities and see things for ourselves. We are choosing schools that are in bad shapes for immediate rehabilitation. Children will be going on holiday; before they come back, we want to see what we can immediately fix, so that these pupils won’t be at disadvantage in the area of learning.
“Our children must be protected from harsh weather when they are in school. We want to ensure that the pupils are as comfortable as they should be. If it is dilapidated classrooms we are fixing immediately in these schools, this would go a long way in reducing overcrowding in our schools. But, we understand the challenges vary from one school to another; we are committed to changing their conditions for the future of our children and state.”
Maryland Primary School was the first to be visited during the tour. The Headmistress, Mrs Adeyemi, conducted the Deputy Governor round the school, explaining the challenges posed by decrepit facilities to pupils.
Of the 32 classrooms originally built by the government, Dr. Hamzat learnt that only 22 classrooms were in use in the school – a development that has led to overcrowding.
The Deputy Governor disclosed he took stock of other dilapidated facilities in school, including the seats, doors, roofing, and electrical appliances, among others.
He later moved to Saint Francis Primary School, also in Maryland, where he was taken round by the Headmistress, Mrs. Lydia Balogun.
Afterwards, the Deputy Governor visited schools in Papa Ajao and Agege areas of the state.
Other top government officials on the tour included the Deputy Chief of Staff, Mr. Gboyega Soyannwo, Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, and officials of the Ministry of Education, among others.