In a demonstration of its commitment to the provision of qualitative education in all strata of the society, the Lagos State Government has unveiled plans to fully rehabilitate its Alternative High School for Girls located in Agboju, Amuwo-Odofin LGA and other similar schools across the State, while the skills acquisition facilities would also be upgraded to world-class standards.
The Special Adviser to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Education, Barrister Tokunbo Wahab, disclosed that the proposed upgrade is aimed at attracting and reintegrating school dropouts as well as those who may have shunned education earlier in life.
Speaking during a chat with journalists in Ikeja, Wahab maintained that the fast-growing rate of the State’s population required a holistic educational approach that would prioritise the development of both formal and informal education to achieve a mass literacy goal for development.
The Special Adviser also hinted that the government might, in future, consider a plan to build more alternative schools across the State for people, who may have dropped out of school due to early pregnancy, child trafficking, lack of parental care or other factors, to have an opportunity to return to school for further education.
He explained that the initiative would empower the beneficiaries socially and economically so that they can contribute to the development of society and play a more functional role as responsible citizens.
While giving credit to the wife of the former Governor of Lagos State and the Senator representing Lagos Central Senatorial District, Senator Oluremi Tinubu for championing the cause for an alternative school system in the State, Barrister Wahab explained that the idea of the Alternative High School for Girls located in Agboju was conceived by the New Era Foundation during the tenure of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as Governor of Lagos State.
According to him, the school was set up to provide education for female dropouts and provide them with an opportunity to acquire vocational skills for self-reliance while they also continue formal learning.
“New Era Foundation (NEF) at that time proposed the idea for the establishment of the Alternative High School for Girls in Agboju to the Ministry of Education, under the Office of the Special Adviser on Education, which was subsequently adopted by the State Government after careful, painstaking appraisal of its objectives and relevance within the framework of the socio-economic peculiarities of the State,” the Special Adviser explained.
While justifying the reason for the State Government’s continued investment in both formal and informal education, he emphasised that mass education has become very compelling in Lagos due to its status as the third largest Megacity in the world, as well as the economic hub of sub-Saharan Africa, which is characterised by an ever-increasing population.
He noted that both formal and informal education remains the only panacea with which the government could enlighten and empower its teeming population for the socio-economic and political development of the State.
His words: “The administration of Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in line with the National Policy on Education, has remained committed to the provision of qualitative and quantitative education to the people of the State. This is realisable through effective and efficient implementation of Education and Technology as an important Pillar of the State Government’s development agenda, of which the development of both formal and informal education remain crucial”.
Earlier in his welcome address, Permanent Secretary, Office of the Special Adviser on Education, Mr. Adeniran Kasali hinted that the State Government in demonstration of its readiness to develop the Alternative School for Girls in Agboju, has constituted the Governing Board to direct the affairs of the school.
The newly inaugurated Governing Board, according to Kasali include Special Adviser on Education, Barrister Tokunbo Wahab; OSAE Permanent Secretary, Mr. Adeniran Kasali; Director, Inspection and Monitoring, Mrs. Omoloye Yemisi; OSAE Director of Finance and Accounts, Alhaja Fausat Akinsola; the Principal of the School, Mrs. Abimbola Ogunye; a Director representing the Agency for Mass Education, Mrs. Olayemi Seriki, another Director, representing Education District V, Mrs. Elizabeth Yekini and teaching staff from the school, Mrs. Mary Olufunke Aina.
While assuring that his office would continue to initiate and implement policies to promote the growth of both formal and informal education in the State, the Special Adviser disclosed that plans are afoot to present a proposal before the State Executive Council and the House of Assembly for the establishment of at least one Alternative School in each of the six Administrative Divisions of Lagos State to upscale the growth of education in the State.