Nigeria must build a resilient education system –Gbajabiamila

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, underscored the need for Nigeria to build a resilient education system to ensure uninterrupted learning even in difficult times.

Gbajabiamila made the statement at the launch of the “Back to School Jump Start Project” on Friday in Lagos.

The project was sponsored by the National Lottery Trust Fund to digitize teaching and learning in schools.

The President, represented by Rep. Ademorin Kuye (APC-Shomolu), said the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdown in 2020 had a negative impact on education.

He said many students had been excluded from school during the COVID-19 lockdown as they could not access learning due to poor digital infrastructure in schools.

Gbajabiamila said the Jump-Start project therefore aims to digitize the teaching and learning process and inculcate a culture of basic hygiene in schools across the country.

“The reason why the first stage of the Jump-Start project has been labeled as ‘No School Left Behind in Surulere’ is to address the worsening educational disadvantage accentuated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While the health implications of the pandemic are all too obvious, its implications for education are subtle, yet devastating nonetheless.

“For Nigerian public school students, the lockdown in 2020 has been a huge setback.

“Thus, the Jump Start project is designed to alleviate the inconvenience caused by the lack of digital infrastructure in public schools, as well as to ensure that there is no interruption in teaching and learning in case of future pandemics,” he said.

The President described education as the best possible investment in people, saying, “It’s the silver bullet that lifts people out of poverty, encourages a broader perspective that expands their worldview.”

He said the National Assembly was committed to rebuilding a better and stronger education system, resilient to the contingencies of the “new normal”.

Gbajabiamila also said he was personally committed to improving the lives and livelihoods of his constituents through education.

The president praised the National Lottery Trust Fund and the Social Impact Healthcare and Education Foundation for working with his office on the project.

In his speech, the Minister for Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Dr. George Akume, thanked the National Lottery Trust Fund and Gbajabiamila for coming up with the project.

Akume, represented by Dr. Bello Maigari, Executive Secretary of the National Lottery Trust Fund, said the project is in line with the federal government’s commitment to enhance students’ learning capacity through the use of technology.

“Today’s event underscores the commitment, determination and promise of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to improve students’ ability to learn and excel in their studies,” he said. .

In his remarks, Maigari praised Gbajabiamila for partnering with the fund on the project.

Maigari, whose speech was read by Mr. Sule Tegina, said the project would build the capacity of schools in digital teaching, learning and sanitation.

“The programme, which aims to help improve the current capacity of schools in good hygiene practice through the provision of modern basic health and standard education and modern learning aids to promote the standard, goes hand in hand with global practice,” he said.

Beneficiary schools received e-learning devices, sanitation materials as well as a check for N100,000 each during the programme.

National Lottery Trust Fund officials then traveled to the Gbaja Maternal and Child Care Center in Surulere, where they presented medical equipment to the facility in conjunction with the President’s office.