It was a gathering of Who’s Who of the education sector of Lagos State as stakeholders brainstorm on the new education policy meant to improve quality service delivery and enhance the performance of students.
The Ministry of Education stakeholders’ engagement forum on the review of Lagos State policy on education attracted numerous stakeholders including Deputy Governor Dr Idiat Adebule, Special Adviser to the governor on education, Mr Obafela Bank-Olemoh, chairman, House Committee on Education, Mr Lanre Ogunyemi, chairman, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Dr Ganiyu Sopeyin, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mrs Adebunmi Adekanye, former Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof Peter Okebukola, former Special Adviser on education to Governor Bola Tinubu, six tutor-general, development partners, school principals, head teachers and traditional rulers.
The gathering was shocked when the deputy governor, Dr Adebule informed them that the state education policy was last reviewed 30 years ago thus the need to look at the old document and make the necessary review to meet global standard.
Her words: “It may be recalled that the educational policy of Lagos State was last reviewed in 1988. Although various initiatives by successive governments have been introduced towards better education service delivery, the time has come for a total overhaul of the policy in order to holistically address all issues related.’’
Dr Adebule, who also doubles as the Commissioner for Education, said to produce smart youths, the educational system must be re-engineered and schools repositioned to deliver graduate students who will blend with global trends.
She assured stakeholders that government policies and programmes would continue to be tailored towards creating an enabling environment for teaching and learning in public schools and for private providers in the education sector to grow and improve on service delivery.
In her speech, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mrs Adebunmi Adekanye, disclosed that managing the education sector of a state like Lagos with a large population of school-age children and a yawning infrastructural gap is no mean task.
She said the administration of Governor Ambode has been committed to raising the standard in the education sector noting “this is further reinforced by the budgeted sum of N126.3billion to further consolidate on his deliveries in the sector this year 2018. This I must say, is bigger than the total budget of some states of the Federation.”
Adekanye urged stakeholders to take advantage of the meeting to add value to the discussion towards a review of the state education policy for better results.
In his paper, the former Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof Peter Okebukola, urged stakeholders to contribute to the on-going policy draft avowing that the review would be like a model for other states and a template for the nation.
Prof Okebukola’s paper, titled, “Review of the Lagos State Policy on Education: A successful close to the Process” explained that Lagos is a home to all, thus the state government must provide quality education to the teeming population of Nigerians.
“Stakeholders’ engagement session to finalise the review of the Lagos State policy on education is an important stage in the process of enacting the revised policy. In line with global best practices, the Lagos State government has invited stakeholders in the education sector – students, teachers, parents, headteachers, staff of basic, secondary and higher education institutions, administrators, private sector, publishers and others to take a final look at the revised draft policy with a view to validating and taking collective ownership of the revised Policy”, he noted.
According to him, the roles of stakeholder are clearly specified in the policy, without overlaps or ambiguity. Noting that there is high internal consistency in the document and synergy, he considered it a model for other states and even a template for the federal educational authority at the next revision of the National Policy on Education.