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Lagos embarks on advocacy campaign to promote mass literacy

By Trust Africa News, Ayomide Otitoju 

To eradicate mass illiteracy and retain a smart city status, Lagos State Agency for Mass Literacy has embarked on an advocacy campaign. Director of the agency, Mrs. Olukemi Kalesanwo speaking at the Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs Conference Room, the Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja said ” you will observe that we didn’t call it illiteracy.

We called it mass.  The agency of mass education is in charge of non formal mass education in Lagos state, and there are three categories, three sectors of what we do in the agency.

We have the mass literacy, we have the vocational training and we also have the continue education centers. Any time we mention agent worker association, everybody thinks of mass literacy.  But what we do is much more than that. We realize that there is the need, urgent need to bring stakeholders together, to find the way forward for non formal education, and we are very very fortunate to have the governor who is passionate about education generally.Not just formal education, but also non formal.

Speaking further she said “Recently, about two weeks ago, we had a stakeholders forum, a conference for our facilitators, a lot of things were discussed there. We got to know their challenges, we also got to know their success stories. Earlier the year, we also had a stakeholders meeting with our continue education /tutorial operators in this room. We discussed with them at length. We also learnt their challenges, we heard their success stories.

And then we now said it is one thing for government officials to make, but when it comes to implementation, you need to monitor what you are implementing. You need to analyse the details that you get or the information that you get. And then that’s why we decided that; look we government officials, let us come together,  let us discuss way forward for non formal education in Lagos state.

Not just in on local government, but in all the local government, which makes up the state. You will all agree with me that the local government are the ones that are closest to the grass roots. They are the one that are closest to the community.”

Kalesanwo disclosed that “we also have representatives in the six education district in Lagos state. We have representatives of even SUBEB chairman with us today. We have representative of Lagos state examination board with us today. So you will agree with me that we are the ones in charge of non formal education in Lagos state not just the agency.

From The Director, Lagos State  Continuing  Education Centre,Mrs  Aganga Williams , Deputy Director of Education,   Apapa LG, Mr. Eniayewun  Oyewole , The  Permanent Secretary, Office of the Special Adviser on Education, Mr Adeniran Kasali, Director, Lagos State  Agency for Mass Education,   Mrs  Oluwakemi   Kalesanwo and  Mrs Ajayi Folake, Deputy Director of Education, Ikeja LG at Stakeholders Forum on promoting  Mass Literacy  across  the 57 LG Areas of Lagos State,  held at the Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs Conference Room, the Secretariat, Alausa

We need to work together, we need to strategise.  We cannot work on our own. That is the essence for us coming together this morning.  So on that note, we are going to do a lot of discussion, we are brothers and sisters, we are colleagues.”

she said “this morning, we will brainstorm on a lot of issues that affects non formal education. I always see our job as a calling, because we are helping people that you do not know. Not your children not your relation. The funniest of all is that these people that we mingle with are the youths, the youths are our future. There are some youths that are out of school, there are some youths that not skilled.

There are more men than skill and trade. When trouble starts, the devil finds work for the idle man. So these are the thing we are supposed to do to help Lagos state government.  How do we assist Lagos state government in ensuring that these out of school youths are unfortunately adults who have not learnt a skill. How do we encourage them to come on board. All those things are free in Lagos state. Those are the things we have come to discuss today.

“What we had today , is what we call  stake holders meeting. Few weeks back we had stake holders meeting for the status. Some Few months back we had stakeholders meeting with continuous education centers operators. Now we felt, we’ve had stakeholders meeting and conferences with outsiders, let us now bring stakeholders who are government officials together.  Because, you know, when you plan something, you need to crosscheck your implementation.”

“You need to analyse your implementation. Where are we facing challenges?  What are our success stories? So that we can move mass education forward  in Lagos state. We are very fortunate we a have a governor, Mr……Sanwo olu,  the whole education,  both formal and informal education. So the stakeholders we brought in here today, are all HOD education. At the Local government level, at the LCDA level. We brought in representing from the 6 education district in lagos state.  We brought in representatives of SUBEB that is State University Based Education Board. We brought in representatives of Lagos state Education Board. Now all these government officials are stake holders in non formal education.”

“We need to sit down and strategise, you know. How do we move non formal education in Lagos forward, and that is what we did today. It is going to be a regular meeting. It is going to be a regular forum.  Because at the end of the day, even when you get approval to do some things,  we still need to sit down and see how we can be able to move non formal education forward in Lagos state,  and so that is what we have done. And there were two key areas that we discussed. One, where we teach people  how to read and write,  and this grassroots, the local government are in charge of them and are closer to the people, so we brought them in, let us discuss the challenges there, state cannot do it alone.

The local government chairman will also have to be involved in non formal education. And then we also have vocational training centres at the local government level and at the state level.  The world is going in supranational now, we need to ensure , then delight,  I mean nothing today that are outdated. We want to empower them, so those are the things with moving non formal education forward, she submitted.


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