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Lagos promises global scholarship for STEM quiz winners

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Sanwo-Olu. Photo; TWITTER/JIDESANWOOLU

Stakeholders Must Support Govt To Reduce Growing Out-of-school Children 

Lagos State government has revealed that the best two pupils to emerge from the Eko Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (EKO STEM) quiz would be given the scholarship to study any course of their choice in any university around the globe.

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Senior Special Assistant to Governor Sanwo-Olu on Lotteries, Funmi Olotu, revealed this at a briefing to announce the commencement of the quiz meant for public and low-cost private schools across the state. According to her, at least 1500 pupils from the 57 local councils and local council development areas are expected to participate in the quiz to commence in June. She said the competition is targeted at pupils in SS 1 and 2, though schools would register their participants.

Olotu, who gave an overview of the quiz, said the show would be pre-recorded and aired monthly on selected television stations and social media. She noted that the goal is to positively impact the pupils and viewers with rewarding insights and exciting discoveries about STEM.

All participating schools will present two candidates each.

The preliminary examination will hold today at 20 centres across the state and successful candidates will move to the next stage of writing the Computer Based Test (CBT) on May 29. Twelve successful candidates will then slug it out at the finals, where two schools will feature monthly for six months. After this, six successful candidates from the 12 will compete against each other and the final three winners will be selected. Winners will be rewarded with prizes within the education sector, with the ultimate prize being a full scholarship to study any course at any university of choice around the world. Participants will be tested in Agricultural Science, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Computer Science and Technology.

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General Manager of Lagos State Lotteries Board (LSLB), Bashir Are, said the competition was to complement the shortfall in education, especially as fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, to reduce the growing number of out-of-school children in Nigeria, stakeholders, especially community leaders must rally around governments to identify and return Out-of-school pupils back to schools.
   
This was the view of participants at a one-day roundtable on monitoring basic education projects tagged One-Day Tracking Campaign, organised by Human Development Initiatives (HDI) in Lagos, yesterday.
 
The Executive Director, HDI, Mrs. Olufunso Owasanoye, said it is important that community stakeholders, especially leaders, to support the government to fish out Out-of-school children and return them to school to avert looming dangers of such pupils staying off schools.  

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She noted that the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board slogan is to leave no one behind in the acquisition of basic education, which cannot be fully achieved with the strong support and collaboration of community people.
 
Owasanoye added that the communities through their various groups must be willing to support such children with basic items to help them integrate back into schools.
   
She added that the support to the government to halt Out-of-school children includes reporting school administrators demanding unapproved fees, which has been identified as one of the issues discouraging poor parents from taking their children to schools.
   
Owasanoye said participants were drawn from 11 local councils across Lagos State, including members of the School-Based Management Committee (SBMC). 
 
According to her, the programme is about equipping participants not to leave the battle against checking Out-of-school children in Nigeria to the government alone by contributing their quota through supporting help return the children to school.

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