LASG Partners First Bank for Provision of 1M e-Learning Tools

COVID-19 Pandemic: Lagos State Government (LASG) Partners with First Bank to Provide One (1) Million E-Learning Tools and Gadgets for all Students in the State . . . Engages Students Through Teaching Via Radio, Television.

The Honourable Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo has disclosed that Lagos State Government is currently engaged in talks with First Bank of Nigeria Limited and private sector organisations to provide one million digital devices to aid the teaching of students in Lagos State.

Speaking at the interactive media briefing held at JJT Park, Alausa on Thursday, Mrs. Adefisayo, said the State government is also exploring the option of online classes for pupils across schools in Lagos to prevent a disruption of the ongoing academic session.

According to the Commissioner, discussions are ongoing with the Bank as well as private education consultancy firms to teach students who are currently at home and prepare them for various examinations, including the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE).

The Commissioner averred that “We have been exploring the option of moving our students to e-learning and we are cognisant of the fact that our pupils may have or may not have access to digital devices to go on the e-learning platform. Therefore, we’ve entered into a very exciting collaboration with First Bank to provide a million devices for students”.

She explained further that the government is “working with a technology firm that will provide devices, which has Nigerian curriculum, tests and quizzes on them. I am also glad to announce that MTN has given us airtime on these devices. The First Bank has set the ball rolling with 20,000 pieces. EdFin Microfinace Bank has also given us devices for our teachers and we are open to other private firms that may want to support this initiative. Lagos Government will be funding part of the project.”

The Commissioner said the government leveraged on mass media to deliver lessons to students at home since the pandemic, disclosing that the method commenced two weeks ago with Senior Secondary pupils who will be taking the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

Disclosing that nine general subjects were being taught at the moment through interaction between teachers and their pupils via live programmes on television and radio, Adefisayo explained that each week’s lessons usually end with a panel session where the pupils ask questions.

“Last Friday, we received a thousand responses on a WhatsApp number dedicated to our panel of discussion. Apart from this, we have started classes for our pupils in Junior Secondary classes. This is being taken on Naija FM 102.7, and we are working in conjunction with South Saharan Social Development Organisation. They have given us their materials and our teachers have streamlined the materials with our own curriculum,” Mrs. Adefisayo explained.

She also mentioned that Eko FM 107.5 also airs local language programmes such as "Kokoka" and "Labe Igi Orombo" for primary school students.

Giving an account of his Ministry’s activities, the Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Mr. Segun Dawodu, said all youth development activities had been postponed indefinitely, following Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s directive on social distancing.

He said that movement was also restricted in and out of the various neighbourhood parks, noting that officials had been visiting youth rehabilitation centres to sensitise the inmates on precautionary tips to stop COVID-19.

“We have restricted movement of people into our rehabilitation centres and we are in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture to constantly make relief materials available to those in the centres. They are not lacking anything at the moment but we take measures to ensure their welfare is attended to in this period of emergency”, Dawodu averred.

The Commissioner advised parents to use the opportunity of the lockdown to sensitise their wards on guidelines issued to stop the spread of the pandemic and cautioned parents against abusing their children, saying the lockdown will not stop the government from protecting the rights of children.

Presenting activities of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Elegushi gave an overview of interactive sessions held with Christian and Muslim religious leaders to ensure their members adhere strictly to the directives handed down by the Ministry of Health to prevent an increase of Coronavirus.

Elegushi praised the religious leaders for supporting the Lagos State Government, pointing out that at one of their meetings, there was a general consensus among the clergymen and clerics that gatherings of any kind should be suspended in worship places.

“The only area, where we had a problem, was a mosque in Agege where the worshippers violated the order, and the place was shut down as directed by Governor Sanwo-Olu. Aside from that incident, we have received cooperation from all religious organisations”, Elegushi stated.

Also speaking on the expectations of the State government from citizens, the Special Adviser to Governor Sanwo-Olu on Civic Engagement, Princess Aderemi Adebowale asserted that residents have a responsibility of complying with the directives given to stem the spread of COVID-19.

She said that activities of the Office of Civic Engagement to battle the Coronavirus disease include community sensitisation, advocacy and public enlightenment.

While giving details of the programmes embarked upon in various localities, Princess Adebowale observed that people tend to wear gloves as they move around without disposing the item after a single-use, saying, however, that such practice should be discouraged because the unchanged gloves could contaminate other persons who come in contact with the dirty hand gloves.

In closing, the Special Adviser advised residents that “when the lockdown is over, go to LASRRA to register for your card because that is one of the ways you can benefit from the dividends of the government”.