More Achievements Will Be Saved With Digital Education – Wahab
Lagos State Governor’s Special Advisor for Education Mr. Adetokunbo Wahab meets with GRACE EDEMA on the advancement and impact of information technology on education in the State
You are still looking for digital skills, digital education, please describe the relationship between information technology and education?
The two go hand in hand if you limit yourself to reading and writing, without any knowledge of information technology, you will limit your options. Thus, technology will improve education to develop with global practices.
In Lagos State, the Governor’s THEMES agenda is impressive and we will start to see the impacts very soon.
People have talked about Rwanda, with a population of over 20 million that they use the computer platform, but they did not get there overnight.
If we are consistent with IT investments, digital education and the like, we will achieve a number of goals. We’re going to give seed money to innovators who are in the IT space. We will finance incubators with more than 400 million naira. We don’t just fund regular education. We also fund people in the IT space because that’s what happens in developed countries. They can have ideas and not money, we put money heavily behind them, the same way we put money in education, and by the time we find that balance you will be shocked at what will happen. You have a lot of people who are going to come and feed the system. When this happens, then the economy can move forward because the prosperity of Lagos is the prosperity of the country.
How has your office’s digital skills initiative matched Nigeria’s high unemployment rate?
Normally, the government should not be the employer of the workforce. The government should just set the tone and create an environment for the private sector to take off. So what we’re doing is giving them the skills and knowledge they need to be employable in this market. Also, don’t forget that thousands of people also come to Lagos to pursue their dreams. Every day they come, they add to the numbers. For us, we will continue to increase the infrastructure in terms of human capital and give them the platform to take advantage of it. The Job Initiative Lagos caters to college students and we support them with soft skills that would make them employable. for those who are starting a business.
Please give an update on upgrading some institutions in Lagos to university status, when will it take off?
It will take off next year. The House of Assembly passed the bill that the Lagos State Polytechnic should be upgraded to Lagos University of Science and Technology, followed by Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education and Micheal College of Education. Otedola in Epe awaits the final reading from the Chamber. I think the delay is due to the budget which is related to time and I thank Mr. Speaker and the House, the Chairman of the House Education Committee and his team for working diligently on this file. I believe that at any time the House should pass the second and once both bills are ready the Governor would give his assent and he would go to NUC, Abuja to be recognized and then start the implementation complete.
What is your advice to students in Lagos State?
They must take advantage of the opportunities that surround them. Education is light; it gives the opportunity to take a shot at life. It might not bring you material gains overnight, but it does put you on the pedestal to grow, achieve, and fulfill your dreams. Things are changing globally but no one is going to tell you that you don’t need to be educated even if you choose not to use your certificate but have the knowledge, it is an economy driven economy. knowledge and that will not change. If you are educated and take a chance, there is something you can contribute. They can call you and ask if you could be a commissioner, minister, etc.
Education will make room for you in great places. I have people in my office who are in their thirties. These are young people who are there because they are educated. Education gives you that opportunity and it opens that door for you and gives you the platform. I would tell them that the state invests so much in education that it devotes 12.6% of our budget in 2022 to education. They should seize the opportunity, maximize it for their own good, that of society.
What programs can students learn through the Eko Digital Skills program?
We have two streams. We have e-school for our students in public and private high schools. We also have the hybrid. The hybrid is that if you are not in school and need a skill set, you can sign up for it and train at our libraries across Lagos.
Digital Skills Initiative is a program that provides students in Lagos State with the opportunity to acquire coding skills, basic computer skills, an introduction to the World Wide Web and Internet technology in order to develop their digital skills and to prepare them for the global challenges of the information technologies of the 21st century. .
What are some of the projects your office is involved in?
We focus on education and where there is a shortage of infrastructure we can also see what we can do to help for the good of the people. The governor wants Lagos to be a 21st century economy and he is laying fiber optics across the state. Fiber optic means there would be internet infrastructure in schools, hospitals and other selected infrastructure.
Now, the OSAE establishes the mandate with regard to the library. We have found that over time the reading culture has dramatically diminished and if you don’t create a supportive environment you have no moral justification to blame these kids for not being able to read and having a culture. reading. So we decided to have two options. The first option is that we have 11 libraries now 12 but is that enough? No. How many public high schools do we have? Over 700, we went straight to the public schools, to renovate the library infrastructure, if they don’t have one, we gave them a new one. Let’s give them an ordinary library with the ordinary books, and then install a solid IT infrastructure, that is, a desktop computer to supplement the books. Also make it very auspicious for them which is why you find us putting in air conditioners and generators. How would the generators be powered? The governor increased the maintenance costs for each principal of each public school to N 250,000 per month from the N 25,000 we encountered, which is what the governor did. Have we been able to cover all the schools? I’ll tell you no. In two and a half years we’ve covered 198 schools across the states, hopefully before the end of the year we’ll add around 42 or 45 to cross the 200 line. Now we’re still a long way from the number. total of schools that we have to do, a journey of a thousand kilometers begins with a first step and we are very clear in our mind. The second part is the Eko Digital. The Eko Digital is intended for students, to prepare them for the fourth revolution, it is the computer revolution and COVID-19 has shown us that it is already there that will give you the full view you need for this revolution, that is, the language of the future, the cloud and the decoding language, the python language, the digital skills language and what we say to ourselves now is that we are aiming for millions.
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