Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Thursday, November 19, flagged off ‘Project Zero,’ aimed at tracking and returning over 21,000 pupils who abandoned primary schools post COVID-19.
Sanwo-Olu, during the flag-off in Lagos, noted that those being tracked would also include pupils whose parents had relocated; especially in the aftermath of COVID-19.
Project Zero is an initiative deployed to tackle the menace of out-of-school children; by supporting and re-enrolling children who are out of school or on the verge of dropping out of school.
The initiative, in partnership with Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LASUBEB), is deployed to trace, mobilize, and support children; especially those who have dropped out of school due to the socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, said the initiative would bring pupils on the brink of dropping out back to school.
“Our activities shall commence with the tracking and identification of children who have dropped out or with a high risk of dropping out of school.
“They will be supported with necessary relief items including school uniforms, school sandals, two pairs of socks, and writing materials.”
Sanwo-Olu said that the Project Zero initiative would drive excellence in learning for about 500,000 pupils across 1,016 public primary schools with more highly skilled and technologically savvy teachers.
He said that the state government had also recruited additional 2,000 teachers to bridge the gap in the teacher-pupil ratio. He added that infrastructural upgrades and renovations were underway across all state schools amongst other ongoing educational reforms.
Sanwo-Olu commended private institutions for delivering globally competitive educational service through the deployment of the needed technology ; as well as the enhancement of teacher quality and continuous capacity building.
In her remarks, the Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folashade Adefisayo, hailed the Lagos State Government. She said that the present administration’s objective was that every child in Lagos should be able to read from primary one.
Adefisayo stressed that no child should be denied education; noting that a hoodlum is the product of a failed society/system.
She, therefore, called on private organisations to partner with the government in ensuring that no child is out of school.