By Vera Anyagafu
In response to challenges thrown up by the Covid-19 pandemic in Nigeria, the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO), in partnership with the Office of Lagos State First Lady to the Ministry of Education, unveiled 5000 transistor radios, and 5000 face masks,
including cash donation to improve and enhance the learning capability of school children in the state.
The transistor radios and face masks, are expected to be distributed across the state, especially in the hard-to-reach areas including riverine areas.
According to governor Sanwo-Olu, while speaking at the event in State House, Marina, the state government commends COWLSO for the laudable initiative to play up the education of children in the state.
He expressed optimism that it would enhance access to educational contents on radio, saying that, what COWLSO donated is to improve and enhance the learning capability of the children.
“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 part of adaptability and innovation has to come to learning.
What we are doing is to ensure learning can be done offsite make our children get themselves busy, have a tool, have an app, have a phone and have a radio and whatever 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 continued to say that the donation by COWLSO would greatly keep students abreast of all of happenings as far as their education was concerned since schools are physically not operating for now.
Speaking also, COWLSO Chairperson, 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.
She said the 5000 face masks and the cash donation would help to ease the burden of parents and guardians and the students at this period.
Statistics, she said, confirmed that there are over a million children at home during this pandemic period not going to school for the past three months, and that students preparing for WAEC and Jamb exams had equally been affected.
The COWLSO Chairperson, also disclosed that the Ministry of Education has gone ahead to improve on e-learning, loading the Nigerian curriculum on to some platforms and these are in a bid to reach out to more students in the rural and riverine areas numbering about 200,000 across Lagos State, both in the primary and Secondary schools in Ibeju Lekki, Epe, Ikorodu, Badagry, Agege, among others.
Going further, Dr. Ibijoke, said that during the first phase of the lockdown, COWLSO took part in distributing palliatives.
“We distributed food items, hand sanitizers and everything 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 learning of the children since we learnt that the Ministry of Education had perfected partnership with some radio stations,” she added.
The First Lady, while thanking teachers for the time invested in education, charged students to reciprocate the efforts of the government to scale up their education by coming out with better grades.
Also, she advised corporate organisations, religious bodies, human rights activists, among others, to come to the plight of the children by joining hands with the government to play up education with the view to engender a better future for students