Plans have been concluded to stage a one-day interactive forum on Advancing Inclusive Education in Lagos Slum Communities for school owners, government officials, private sector players, civil society groups and young people living in four slums communities in Lagos.
This event, scheduled for Saturday, March 7, 2020 at Eden Centre, Iwaya, Yaba, Lagos at 12 noon, is being put together by a non-governmental organisation known as Youth Advocate for Change.
The programme is expected to attract participants from Ilaje in Bariga Local Government, Iwaya-Makoko in Mainland Local Government Development area, Ikate Slum in Lekki, and Agboyi-Ketu in Ketu Local Government area in Lagos.
Among the guests of honour scheduled to grace the event include: the Commissioner for Education, Lagos State, Mrs Adefisayo Folashade; the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Education, Mr Tokunbo Wahab; the South West Director, National Education Research Development Council, Dr Dada Shonibare; Head, the Executive Director of Action Health Incorporated, Adenike Esiet; the Health Sector Strategy and Innovation, Sterling Bank PLC, Mr Adewale Adebowale; National Coordinator, Inner-city Mission, Jackson Iboro; Co-founder What more can I give, Ibitoye Olufemi, among others.
According to the convener and Team Leader of the group, Mr Adeola Ogunlade, the forum is aimed at enhancing inter-sectoral and multi-stakeholder partnership toward ensuring that marginalised children in slum communities are not left behind in the effort toward achieving inclusive education for all children irrespective of their location, gender and socio-economic challenges.
He noted that Lagos State has a population of about 21 million people according to the National Population Commission of Nigeria in 2016, and the city remains the commercial nerve centre of the country with annual GDP growth rate of 1.5 percent.
He posited that ironically, it is home to over 100 slums which are challenged by the burden of poverty, inadequate infrastructure, filthy environment and none or inadequate education facilities for young people
Mr Ogunlade pointed out that available evidence and education survey show that enrolment of children in schools in these four communities is poor especially among the girl child, then completing basic education remains a challenge.
“DFID reported in 2011 that the challenge of teachings and learning in marginalised or low income areas in Lagos State as a result of the limited number of public schools and an upsurge of private schools with untrained teachers, inadequate infrastructure, and even where children attend schools, learning outcomes are poor, and not serving the best interests of the children and Lagos State as a whole,” Mr Ogunlade was quoted as saying in a statement on Tuesday.
Although Lagos State government is improving its spending toward teacher’s training, building new schools, mainstreaming digital technology in public schools and improving learning outcomes among students, it is evident from research that the impact of government in advancing the educational opportunities for slum dwellers is limited and sometime not available.
He said this conference will help to review the standard of education in slum communities and provide a platform for shared responsibilities among all stakeholders including government, private sector players, school owners, teachers, and community heads for an improvement in the standard of education needed for slum dwellers in the 21st century.
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