Take advantage of COVID-19 to fix gaps in public education, say HDI, ActionAids
Human Development Initiatives (HDI) Nigeria, ActionAid Nigeria and other global coalition for education have called on the Lagos State Government to reflect on the gaps in the public education sector that the global pandemic has revealed and taken advantage of the lessons from the current challenges to progressively invest more in the sector in a way that can enable all children to continue learning under similar circumstance.
The group, in a statement, yesterday, by the Executive Director, HDI, Mrs. Olufunso Owasanoye, to mark the 2020 Global Action Week for Education, themed ‘10 years left to 2030: Civil society’s solutions, recommendations and plans of action to reach SDG4’, noted that despite on-going efforts by the Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration, many children, especially poor, vulnerable and marginalised ones, including children with disabilities are still being excluded from these initiatives in Lagos.
The group specifically urged Lagos State Government and the State House of Assembly to take action to progressively increase the size of the state budget by raising fair tax; increase the share of the funds allocated to and spent on free, quality, equitable, and inclusive public education; make public education policies, systems and expenditure more sensitive to the rights of girls and marginalised children; open-up education budget and expenditure for effective public participation from the initiation stage to promote the inclusive education policy of the state; make school infrastructure more user friendly for people with disabilities; train all teachers and school administrators to be able to handle inclusive schools and equip Lagos schools with needed support systems to aid inclusive learning, including a more robust teachers’ welfare that can attract the best brains into the noble profession especially at the basic level.
“We are calling on all stakeholders to add their voices to these demands for free, equitable, quality and inclusive public education in Lagos State,” the group said.