According to famous American scientist, George Washington Carver, ‘education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom’. Really, education is critical to the growth and development of any society. It empowers the individual with necessary knowledge and set of skills to actualize potential and maximize opportunities in life. It is for this reason that governments across the world devote a good chunk of available resources to the development of the educational sector.
In Nigeria, Lagos is unarguably the state with the highest number of public schools, students and teachers. It has consistently been churning out the highest number of candidates for public examinations in Nigeria since 1967. As a melting point with a bourgeoning population in excess of 20 million, provision of qualitative education in Lagos state has been a daunting task.
The current administration in the state clearly understands that the task of making Lagos state “the model of excellence in the provision of education in Africa” requires meticulous attention. To this end, N92.4 billion, 11.37 percent, was allocated to education sector in the state budget for 2017.
Government has directed the policy toward ensuring equal educational opportunity in the state, encourage parents who might otherwise neglect their children’s education to send their children to school and making education affordable for everyone. So, within the half-time of the administration’s tenure, the wheels of what is mutating to be a historic education revolution in Lagos were rolled off with aggressive rehabilitation of public schools throughout the length and breadth of the state. Several hundreds of classroom blocks have been built and renovated while thousands of students and teachers furniture supplied to various primary and secondary schools.
The Lagos state government appreciates that as much as physical infrastructure is important, adequate and quality teachers in schools are as important. Thus, as part of measures to bridge the gap in the teacher/pupil ratio in the state, the government recruited one thousand, three hundred (1,300) teachers for primary schools while another 1000 teachers were recruited for public secondary schools in 2016. Similarly, government has been paying attention to teachers’ welfare.
Cheeringly, the dividend of the state’s investment in education is paying off. For instance, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode was declared the “Teachers Most Friendly Governor” by the Nigeria Union of Teachers during the celebration of the last World Teachers’ Day in Abuja. The same day, President Muhammadu Buhari rewarded the hardwork, high performance and high productivity of three Lagos State School teachers and administrator with the “President’s Teachers and Schools Excellence Award”. Nominees of the State clinched three out of the nine categories of award available to contestants from 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The Key Performance Indices of the Education Sector is not limited to competition awards as the State has made tremendous progress in external examinations since Y2015. The result of the States performance at the 2017 WASSCE is put at 66% pass in at least 5 subjects including English and Mathematics, compared to the 50.41% in 2016, 37.27% in 2015 and 21.22% in 2014.