Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State on Thursday said that education in the country must now be geared toward meeting the nation’s needs to make graduates employable.
He spoke at the 2013 Corporate Social Responsibility Awards and Breakfast Meeting with stakeholders organised by the Lagos State Ministry of Education.
“Our education must now respond to our needs, so it is not enough for our students to pass and then leave school and be then unemployable.
“It is important now that we must produce graduates and human skills in the areas where our economy needs them.
“Those are the things we are doing at the tertiary education, amending curriculum to respond to society needs,’’ he said.
Fashola expressed delight that in the last two years, products of technical and vocational colleges in the state had started receiving placements in public and private companies.
To boost quality education, the governor said over 7000 teachers were trained under the compulsory teachers training programme at the Public Service Development Centre Magodo, in 2012.
According to him, the training of teachers in primary and secondary schools has improved the performance of students in the Senior School Certificate Examination.
“When we started the journey in 2007, the WAEC result for that year showed that only seven per cent passed; in 2008, the pass rate was 11 per cent.
“In 2009 it was 18 per cent; in 2010 it was 21 per cent and in 2011, it dropped back to 19 per cent; but in 2012, we doubled that result with 39 per cent.
“We are not where we want to be, but if we can double our performance again in 2013, we can ease some sigh of relief that things are getting back on course,’’ he said.
Fashola also said that over N954 million was spent on bursary and scholarship award to the less privilege and vulnerable children in the state in 2012.
He disclosed that in 2103, he had already approved over N150 million for scholarship.
Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye, the Lagos State Commissioner for Education, said that the “Support our Schools Initiative’’ in the sector, which began five years ago had grown to becoming an enduring one.
She appealed to more corporate bodies and public spirited individuals to join in providing a conducive environment for learning, teaching and uplifting of educational standard of children in the state.
Mrs Adebola Idowu, the guest lecturer, said that everybody must contribute to education to attain economic growth and affect the lives of over 70 million Nigerian youths.
Idowu, Director, Legal Services, Etisalat, spoke on the topic, “Community Social Responsibility: Adding Value to Life through Education’’.
She said that 14 per cent of the world’s population could still not read or write, describing this as alarming.
Idowu urged all Nigerians to embrace community social responsibility.
NAN reports that Fashola presented awards to some of the partners in the “support our schools initiative'' at the event.
Among the recipients were Chief Adebutu Kessington, House on the Rock Church, Access Bank PLC, Nestle Nigeria Plc, Flour Mills, Nigeria Breweries, Mountain of Fire and Miracle Ministry, Julius Berger and Nigerite.