Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folashade Adefisayo has stated that the state government has partnered technology giants, Microsoft to train 18,000 teachers aimed at enhancing computer literacy towards achieving world best teaching and learning practices.
Adefisayo stated this while discussing plans of the Gov. Sanwo-Olu administration for education on an online show, Covinspiration, moderated by Special Representative to the United Nations, and British Council Global Change-maker, Mr Dayo Israel.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was to keep the public abreast of the activities of the administration in the last year.
According to the commissioner, “This COVID-19 lockdown period avails us the opportunity to improve our teachers. For instance, we partnered with Microsoft and they are teaching 18,000 of our teachers on digital literacy.
“So, they are going to come out of this training, being able to work comfortably with Word and Excel which is going to be done through the Zoom App because of the social distancing order.
“So, first of all, they are learning to be computer literate straightaway.”
According to her, computer literacy is of importance at this point when technology is evolving for the advancement of teaching and learning processes.
She added that the introduction of Eko Excel Programme, which was part of the administration’s THEMES agenda, had improved the teaching and learning experiences in the classroom between the teachers and pupils.
Adefisayo further added that the government and private sector were investing in online teaching and learning at these trying times, saying devices were being given to students for online learning.
“We have continued to call for devices and people have continued to give us, we are going to start giving them out within a week. Parents will be excited,” she said.
The commissioner said the online digital class would not be stopped after the pandemic, saying it would be used to reinforce teaching and learning.
According to her, the ministry is at the final stage of recruitment processes for 2,000 teachers in order to boost the standard of public primary school education in the state.
She said the government, through the ministry, was looking at employing teachers every quarter, saying the rate of retirement of teachers was very high in Lagos.
She disclosed that the Sanwo-Olu administration had granted the ministry permission to replace retired teachers.
“The most important aspect of learning is the quality of teachers and we did not have enough teachers to actualise the set plan for learning in our public schools,” she said.
On school resumption, the commissioner, who noted that the ministry could not give the exact resumption date, said the government was watching the trend of the pandemic.
“We cannot say specifically that we are going to open on so and so date. We are also working with the federal government because it is not a decision that any state can take unilaterally.
“We are looking at the pandemic. The main thing for us is safety first, safety second, safety third. If we are certain that our children are fairly safe, we will open school,” she said.
On whether there were plans to put COVID-19 school safety protocols in place and ensure strict adherence when the school finally reopened, Adefisayo said the ministry was already working on a paper on this.
She said the ministry was working with the Federal Ministry of Education, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Development Agencies and others to develop a very robust protocol paper for school to reopen.
“Whenever we say the school will start, there will be a notice, there will be time for preparations. We are going to have time within which schools will be able to put in place those protocols for children’s safety.
“Office of the Education Quality Assurance is working hard with us to ensure compliance,” she added.
The commissioner said that considering the dynamism of the society needs, the government has also embarked on training of experts/curriculum developers that will fine-tune the curriculum towards preparing students in compliance with current societal needs.