The Chairman of the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LSUBEB), Ganiyu Sopeyin has challenged parents to embrace the school enrolment policy of the state government.
He gave this advice on the sidelines of the Children’s Day party organised for public school children in Lagos by Ovie Brume Foundation (OBF).
About one thousand children from thirty public schools participated in the 2018 edition of the Children’s Day party organised by the non-governmental organisation.
In his words, “We appeal to parents to catch up with the Lagos State government’s policy on education. We have done a lot in the area of infrastructure in terms of providing furniture, books, classrooms and other things that would make teaching and learning effective and rewarding.”
“The only thing we need is for parents to appreciate all of these and encourage their children by getting them registered in schools. We also encourage those ones already in schools to face their studies.”
EduCeleb.com recalls that LSUBEB also recently organised a statewide sensitization programme to boost school enrolment in schools in the state ahead of the next academic session commencing in September. The programme attracted parents from host communities across the state.
Over 10.5 million Nigerian children are out school, according to the United Nations. This figure represents the largest anywhere in the world.
Mr Sopeyin commended OBF for carrying the public school children along in the eventful celebration.
“I am highly excited about this programme. I cannot imagine what impact this event would have on the children considering their background as public school students.”
He also noted that effort by the OBF among other non-governmental organisations should be seen as a way of encouraging more children to be enrolled in schools.
“The children can see here would ordinarily not have access to such a programme. It would remain memorable to them. I pray that God Almighty would continue to be with them. We, on our part have always been in support of what Ovie Brume is doing.”
“So many non-governmental organisations, apart from the great efforts government is putting in are supportive. If we have people like that that are committed to education, the only thing is for parents to get their children registered in schools for education is the gateway to any development.”
Event meant to carry pubic school children along
The Executive Director of OBF, Adeola Awogbemi said the event was annually organised for public school primary and secondary students as part of its other lofty capacity building programmes.
She told EduCeleb.com that the Foundation also has over 300 members of its youth development centre in Victoria Island, Lagos where students are taught literacy, numeracy, arts entrepreneurship and leadership.
Another annual programme of the OBF is the Global Peace Games through which the Foundation had won several laurels in Taekwondo. The OBF Book Club, Books on Wheels is another avenue that has attracted volunteers to encourage reading in five secondary schools daily. It also offers scholarship, feeding and upkeep funds to worthy students and their families.
“We do these recognising that these are the next generation of leaders. They are not being celebrated the way they should be. They don’t have the opportunities like students in private schools.”
“If you leave these children unattended to, you are building up a crisis for the future. Whether we like it or not, their lives are different from those children in private schools, which are mainly for the rich.”
Mrs Awogbemi said that in order to put the Children’s Day event together, the OBF sought and got the support of corporate sponsors like Access Bank, Wapic Insurance Plc, Lagoon Hospitals and Vita Foam. She also appealed to other corporate organisations for support towards the execution of this and other social services to the public.
Among the activities in the one day event are an essay competition, a spelling bee competition, a quiz competition, a financial literacy sessions, various games and dancing contests. Winners got various prizes from sponsors and the organisers.
Commendation from participants
Meanwhile, participants in the one day event commended its organizers for putting it together. They also challenged more nongovernmental organisations to emulate the OBF.
A desk officer at the Eti-Osa Local Government Education Authority (LGEA), Mrs Funmi Effiong commended the organisers of the event.
“The activities are very encouraging. It makes them to know their rights and broaden their knowledge by putting them through a lot of educational activities. The sort of gifts awarded to winners in competitions is a morale booster.”
“The children are very promising and would go far with this. I can only appeal to the Ovie Brume Foundation to keep up doing their best to complement government’s efforts,” she said.
The Founder of Babem Learning Foundation, Basi Akujobi said she was happy that OBF was taking the opportunity of impacting in the lives of young people seriously.
“The value we leave in our children may not be seen naira and kobo but becomes manifest in what they become. What you desire them to become is how you train them to be. Ovie Brume Foundation is doing great in this,” she stated.
Another invited guest, Ms Nene Olafimihan noted that the particular interest in public school children by the OBF was what made the programme much exciting.
“Prior to this time, most of these children would have just found themselves at home. It is a privilege and an opportunity to gather these children to give them fun, encourage and motivate them. It is really interesting and something worth encouraging.”