World Bank set to support Lagos schools infrastructure projects

A school in Lagos

• Sets Aside $620million Grants To Tackle Out-Of-School Children Menace
Impressed by the various reforms put in place to improve quality of education in schools through the implementation of sustainable educational policies geared towards achieving excellence, the World Bank has expressed readiness to provide necessary support to Lagos State government, especially in school infrastructure projects and other critical areas of the education sector.

The proposed assistance to the state government was disclosed yesterday by the World Bank Senior Director for Education Global Practice, Dr. Jaime Saavedra Chanduvi, during the institution’s a courtesy visit to Governor Akiwunmi Ambode at the Secretariat, Alausa Ikeja

Dr Chanduvi, who led other top officials of the bank from Washington D.C, commended the state government for implementing sustainable policies, which have brought significant improvements to the standard of education in the state.

He noted that the Lagos State government and Nigeria as a whole still have a lot to do to tackle the menace of out of school children, adding that the trend has been on the increase across the country, and government at all levels need to pay attention to this menace in the interest of peace and security of the country in the future.

Describing the development of the Technical and Vocational Education by the state government as a right step in a right direction, the World Bank Chief, urged the state government to include more courses in its Technical and Vocational Education so as to encourage more youths to register for programmes of their choices rather than roam about the streets, stressing that most countries of the world that have attained greatness in economic viability prioritized skills acquisition and vocational education.

Towards helping the state government to encourage more enrolment of children in schools, Chanduvi disclosed that the global financial institution has set aside the sum of US$620 million as grant specifically to tackle the menace of out-of-school children and improve literacy.

He promised that the World Bank would help the Lagos State and other states in the North to freely access the grants so as to bring the school age children, who are out-of-school back to schools and secure a better future for them.

“We know Lagos State government is doing well in its Technical and Vocational Education, but a lot still need to be done because of your large population especially on the out-of-schools children roaming about and hawking during school hours. It is an area, which your government and of course the Federal Government must pay particular attention to in the overall interest of peace and stability in your country.

“World Bank has set aside the sum of 620 Million US dollars as grants and we will ensure that Lagos State government and other Northern state governments take the advantage of this initiative to tackle this menace,” he stated.

Chanduvi also commended the state government for the noted that the well implementation of the Lagos Eko Educational Projects and other World Bank Assisted programmes in the state, disclosing that the bank has lined up a lot of other programmes to assist developing countries to develop their education sector.

In her response, deputy governor, Dr. Idiat Oluranti Adebule, who received the delegation on behalf of Governor, commended the international finance organisation for its support and partnership in various educational reforms embarked upon by the state government, adding that those reforms were aimed at repositioning the education sector to meet the global best standard practices.

The deputy governor, disclosed that the state government in recognition of the importance of the conducive learning environment recently approved the sum of N10 billion for schools rehabilitation projects to developed infrastructure in government schools, which she noted has improved the standard of education in the state.

Dr Adebule while reaffirming government’s commitments to the development of Technical and Vocational education, said the state government has approved two additional Technical Schools to be cited in Badagry and Ibeju-Lekki to increase the number from five to seven.

“We know there is a wide gap now and right from the inception of this administration, we have evaluated what we met on ground and embarked on a lot of re-engineering works so that we can bring the education sector in Lagos State at the same level  with  other civilized countries of the world. With your support, we will continue to see a lot of improvements in our educational system,” Adebule stated.

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