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LASG proposes five alternative schools for dropouts

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

As part of measure to ensure qualitative education across Lagos, the State Government has disclosed plans to rehabilitate its Alternative High School for Girls in Agboju, Amuwo-Odofin Local Government and replicate same across the five divisions of the state to give girls without secondary school education platform to learn.

It added that the scope of the facilities would be expanded to give attendees options particularly to have vocational skills while attending the school and that a board for the school has been inaugurated to fast-track the ideas.

The government plans were disclosed by Special Adviser to governor on Education, Tokunbo Wahab, during a chat with journalists in Ikeja, explained that the proposed upgrade was aimed at attracting and reintegrating school dropouts as well as those who may have shunned education earlier in life within the state.

Wahab, yesterday, maintained that the fast-growing rate of the State’s population required a holistic educational approach that would prioritize 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, 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 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 emphasized 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 characterized 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 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 realizable 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 Special Adviser on Education (OSAE), Adeniran Kasali hinted that the State Government in demonstration of its readiness to the development of Alternative School for Girls Agboju, has constituted the Governing Board for the School to direct the affairs of the school.

The newly inaugurated Governing Board according to Kasali include; The Special Adviser on Education, Barrister Tokunbo Wahab, OSAE Permanent Secretary, Adeniran Kasali, Director Inspection, and Monitoring, Omoloye Yemisi, OSAE Director of Finances and Accounts, Fausat Akinsola, the Principal of the School, Abimbola Ogunye, a Director representing Agency for Mass Education, Seriki Olayemi, another Director, representing Education District V, Yekini Elizabeth and a teaching staff from the school, Aina Olufunke

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 five Administrative Divisions of Lagos State to upscale the growth of education in the State

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