House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila has pledged the Federal Government’s commitment to building a better educational system.
He spoke in Lagos while inaugurating the “Back to School Jumpstart” project to digitise teaching, learning, and inculcation of a basic hygiene culture in schools nationwide.
The Speaker explained that Jump-Start – to be replicated around the six geo-political zones – will help reduce educational inequality and the out-of-school rate, with no school left behind in virtual learning.
The first phase of the programme featured the provision of e-learning equipment, including laptops, android tablets and phones, stationeries and sanitation material to 46 junior and secondary schools in Surulere Federal Constituency.
Cash donations were also made to the schools to support internet data acquisition and other accessories.
Gbajabiamila noted that it is being implemented in partnership with the Social Impact, Healthcare, and Education (SHE) Foundation, with support from the National Lottery Trust Fund (NLTF).
“The reason for tagging the first leg of the Jump-Start project as “No School Left Behind in Surulere” is to address the widening of the educational disadvantage heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic. While the health implications of the pandemic are all too obvious, its consequences for education are subtle but nonetheless devastating,” he said in a speech read on his behalf by another member of the House of Representatives, Ademorin Kuye.
Gbajabiamila added: “For students in public schools, the lockdown in 2020 was a huge academic setback. The Jump-Start Project is designed to mitigate the disadvantage caused by the lack of digital infrastructure in public schools, as well as ensure that there are no breaks in teaching and learning in the event of future pandemics.”
He pledged the government’s commitment to “building back a better and stronger educational system.”
Minister of Special Duties and Inter-governmental Affairs George Akume thanked the Speaker for the initiative.
Akume added: “I commend the National Lottery Trust Fund for providing the resources to facilitate the implementation of this initiative.
“Today’s event is indeed a cause for celebration which underscores the commitment, determination and focus of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration in improving the capacity of our students to learn and excel in their studies, using technology.”
Executive Secretary National Lottery Trust Fund, Dr. Maigari Bello, noted that the agency facilitated the project by providing an unconditional grant to “She Foundation” through lottery good cause.