The Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo, has described the WorkSheets plan and the Toll-Free lines initiated by the Tutor-General/Permanent Secretary, Education District III for learners within the District as proactive, creative and innovative. She gave this commendation during the unveiling ceremony of the initiatives for students at the District headquarters in Ikoyi, Lagos, saying that “these two plans are outstanding and it is a right step in the right direction. I am very proud of the Tutor-General/Permanent Secretary and also happy to be associated with initiatives like these". Speaking on the toll-free lines, the Commissioner said the initiative came at a time that many of the children are going through emotional challenges, adding that the creativity would afford them an opportunity to voice out their pains and challenges to their TG/PS and counsellors.
While saying that the idea would not have seen the light of day but for the cooperation and doggedness of all members of staff, Adefisayo urged all education stakeholders within the District to ensure that the new innovations work and serve the intended purposes.
In her welcome address, the Tutor-General/Permanent Secretary Education District III, Dr. Yinka Ayandele commended the Lagos State government and the sponsors of the project for their support. She stated that the focus of the WorkSheet plan is to enable students who cannot be reached through e-learning have access to the privilege others enjoy and also improve their performance academically. "As a way of supporting the digital teaching concepts of the Lagos State Ministry of Education, we want to increase the number of students currently being captured in the home tutorials initiated by the Government with the introduction of "Worksheets" to reach students in remotest parts of the State", Dr. Ayandele stated. According to her, the District decided to complement the efforts of the State Government in ensuring that no child is left behind in the learning process regardless of their location or access to either radio or television being used to teach the students during this period of school closure. Explaining the initiative, Dr. Ayandele described 'EDUGLOW' as a child of necessity, which was brought to the fore by the need for learning despite the closure of schools, occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
She asserted that e-learning as beautiful as it is, has left behind students who do not have resources to benefit from it, stressing that the birth of the initiative would help bridge the gap and serve as a reference for brilliant scholars. "The ultimate goal is to inspire students to move to the next level of achievement in life," the TG/PS stated. Ayandele commended the efforts of the State Ministry of Education for providing an alternative means of learning in a very proactive manner, attesting that the various on-air teaching and learning sessions have been very engaging and interactive between the tutors and students. In her words: "What we did at Education District III was to come up with the concept of "Reaching the Unreachable" with the use of Worksheets already designed for that purpose. It is in line with the mantra of the present administration of leaving no one behind in bequeathing the dividends of quality governance to the populace, students inclusive”. "In achieving this, we designed and produced Worksheets with the help of stakeholders in the education sector for distribution to some vulnerable students, especially those living in the hinterlands so that they can also, participate in the teaching and learning process", she added. The Tutor-General also acknowledged efforts by some private tutors engaging their students on social media but expressed fears about the negative impact which the initiative might have on school pupils, like those in the JSS classes, without proper monitoring or censorship. "Apart from the fact that some parents do not have access to internet facilities and other media being used to pass instructional materials to the pupils, the need for security consciousness cannot be over-emphasised when students are using the internet", she reiterated. In order to internalise the various topics that would be treated with the aid of the Worksheets, Dr. Ayandele disclosed that various key subjects like Mathematics and English Language have been simplified with the use of signs, symbols and colours for easy comprehension by the students.
While saying that recent developments in the Education circle have shown that learning will never be the same as usual, the Permanent Secretary promised that the Education District III would continue to come up with more innovations to advance the State's Education sector, especially at this very crucial and critical time in the history of the sector across the world. Speaking on the Toll-Free lines initiative, Dr. Ayandele explained that the idea came up in response to various vices associated with COVID-19, stressing that the toll-free lines - 0800ED3TALK2ME and 0800-333-8255263 - were designed to grant the children direct access to the TG/PS and the counsellors without paying a dime, as well as afford them an opportunity to voice out their pains and challenges during private counselling. Recall that the Lagos State Ministry of Education, following the closure of all schools in the State from primary schools to tertiary institutions, initiated both radio and television programmes for all school pupils to ensure that learning continues in spite of the school closure.