A call has gone to private organisations and individuals to join hands with the Ogun state government in its quest to restructure the education sector by embracing the “adopt a school initiative”, introduced by the present administration.
Ogun State Deputy Governor, Engr. Noimot Salako-Oyedele made this call at the 6th Lafarge Africa National Literacy Competition, with the theme; “Bridging the Literacy Gap Together”, held at Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Engr. Salako-Oyedele, noted that the declaration of state of emergency in the sector by Governor Abiodun had assisted in tackling some of the challenges but more still needed to be done, calling for the support of other well-to-do individuals.
“As a matter of urgency, the State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun approved the renovation of schools across the 236 wards in the state, to create conducive learning environment for the students, looked into the curriculum of the school for conformity with the current educational system. Our government also approved the backlog of promotion for teachers in a bid to improve the standard of education in the state”, she said.
She however commended management of Lafarge Africa for touching the lives of over 700,000 children in the past six years, calling on other corporate bodies to emulate the gesture.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman, Lafarge PLC, Mr. Mobolaji Balogun noted that the initiative was targeted at addressing the deficit suffered in the educational sector, as statistics showed that 35 percent of children who started their education could not complete it, stating that Lafarge had taken up the Literacy Competition initiative to encourage children, teachers and even parents in recognising education as a priority.
Also speaking at the event, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Lafarge Africa PLC, Mr. Michael Puchercos, said the Literacy Competition initiative which began in 2014 as a Corporate Social Responsibility has been encouraging, appealing to other stakeholders to partner with the government to improve the standard of education in Nigeria.
In his goodwill message, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, who was represented by the Principal, Kings College, Lagos, Mr. Andrew Alli commended the organisers for the initiative, adding that the national policy on education guaranteed education for all without hindrance, hence government was worried over the number of out of school children, calling on participants to embrace the spirit of sportsmanship, as they would be proud ambassadors of the Country in the future.
At the end of the competition, Rivers State came first, with Ogun coming second and Enugu taking the third place.
Dignitaries at the event included the wife of the Ogun State Governor, Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun, her counterparts from Rivers and Enugu, as well as the Emir of Kano, Muhammad Lamido Sanusi.