Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Monday unveiled 5,000 transistor radios, 5,000 face masks and cash donation by the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO) to improve access to educational contents by pupils and students in the State in response to the challenges thrown up by Covid-19 pandemic.
A statement signed by Olubukonla Nwonah, Assistant Director, Public Affairs, Office of Lagos State First Lady, disclosed that the transistor radios and face masks, which were donated by COWLSO in partnership with the Office of Lagos State First Lady to the Ministry of Education, would be distributed across the State, especially in the hard-to-reach areas including riverine areas.
Speaking at event, which was held at State House, Marina, Sanwo-Olu commended COWLSO for the laudable initiative to play up the education of children in the State, expressing optimism that it would enhance access to educational contents on radio.
“What COWLSO is donating this morning is to improve and enhance the learning capability of the children and so we are excited that they have been able to put this together for the students.
“I understand that this is the first batch, others will come in. This is a new norm and so we need to adapt to the new realities of where we found ourselves and so this is part of adaptability and innovation has to come to learning.
“What we are doing now is as much as possible, learning can be done offsite and so it is just something to make our children get themselves busy, have a tool, have an app, have a phone and have a radio and whatever it means to communicate such that at the agreed time and in the comfort of their learning environment, they can tune in, they can listen, they can take notes, they can interact and be in tune,” the Governor said.
He said the donation by COWLSO would greatly help students to be abreast of all of the things happening as far as their education was concerned since schools are physically not operating for now.
On her part, the First Lady and COWLSO Chairman, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu said the initiative to donate the transistor radios was borne out of the desire to ensure that no child is left behind in the access to quality education in the State, while the 5,000 face masks and the cash donation would help to ease the burden of parents and guardians and the students in this era of the new normal.
She said statistics confirmed that there are over a million children at home during this pandemic period not going to school for the past three months, while students preparing for WAEC and Jamb exams had equally been affected.
“In this new normal, Ministry of Education has gone ahead to improve on e-learning, loading the Nigerian curriculum on to some platforms and in a bid to reach out to more students in the rural and riverine areas numbering about 200,000 across Lagos State in the primary and Secondary schools in Ibeju Lekki, Epe, Ikorodu, Badagry, Agege, among others, COWLSO is coming on board to assist with transistor radios so that our students will have access to educational programmes on radio.
“During the first phase of the lockdown, COWLSO took part in distributing palliatives. We distributed food items, hand sanitizers and everything that needed to be distributed. However, we were still worried about the education of our children now that they are not going to school.
“We just don’t want to stop at giving palliatives; we wanted to move further and so we decided to donate radio transistors with batteries to ease the leaning of the children since we learnt that the Ministry of Education had perfected partnership with some radio stations,” the First Lady said.
She urged corporate organizations, religious bodies, human rights activists, among others to come to the plight of the children by joining hands with government to play up education with the view to engender a better future for students in the State.
While thanking teachers for the time invested in education, she charged students to reciprocate the efforts of government to scale up their education by coming out with better grades.
Earlier, Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo commended the First Lady and COWLSO members for the donations, saying it would perfectly key into efforts to improve access to education for pupils and students considering that some radio stations have signed on to the learning programmes initiated by the Ministry to engage students throughout the pandemic period.
She also disclosed that the Ministry was working on establishing a Radio Station that would be solely dedicated to education to expand time for airing of educational contents and improve access for students.