The Office of Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Education, in collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget, has held a stakeholders’ convention as part of the build-up to the launch of the “STEAM UP LAGOS” project, which was designed to boost teaching, learning processes and outcomes in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Mathematics (STEAM) in the State.

Welcoming participants to the event at Radisson Blu Anchorage Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Education, Ms. Adetola Salau, noted that the stakeholders’ convention was initiated to discuss modalities for ensuring adequate provision of quality education and life outcomes, through technology for future generations across the six Education Districts in the State.

According to Salau, the initiative is hinged on curriculum design and integration, teacher engagement and training in modern STEAM pedagogy, setting up of STEAM laboratories and cafes, as well as engaging students in learning and boosting extracurricular STEAM activities”.

She further explained that the revolution of STEAM was a precursor ingredient to the development of today’s GPS systems, Bluetooth, WiFi network connections and CDMA used in wireless cell phones, whereby similar technological concepts are set to be achieved, through the STEAM UP LAGOS project.

While acknowledging the art and aesthetic component of the initiative and the need to ensure that students, who do not identify themselves as core science and technology inclined are not excluded from the project, the SSA assured stakeholders that the project will advance learning from routine memorisation to practical, hands-on engagement for students while bridging the skills gap.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the occasion and Commissioner for Economic Planning & Budget, Mr. Samuel Egube, said “STEAM UP LAGOS” is a key and vital tool towards achieving the needed workforce required to drive Lagos and make the 30-year State Development Plan a reality for global economic competition.

“From the perspective of economic growth, it is important to have diverse skills and expertise to attract foreign direct investment, achieve industrialisation and make Lagos an innovation Hub for the world. The Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget is committed to working with partners and all MDAs to achieve economic growth, advancement and retain our megacity status”, Egube said.

While informing that the State government would soon commence the distribution of about one million devices to enable students compete with their counterparts all over the world, the Commissioner said 33,000 devices have already been distributed in phases to take teaching and learning beyond the previous physical mode and embrace technology to aid teaching and learning in public schools across Lagos.

He disclosed that N161 billion has been set aside for human capital development in the Y2021 budget to ensure efficiency in service delivery, charging stakeholders on the need for private sector partnership as a requisite tool for sustainable development in education.

The Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, represented by the Director, Public-Private Partnerships in the Ministry, Mr. Adebayo Adeyemi, spoke on the policy level engagement to infuse STEAM pedagogy into classroom teaching and learning, imploring the participants to support the STEAM UP LAGOS Project in order to encourage students to think innovatively.

Also speaking, the Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mr. Hakeem Fahm, harped on the need to leverage technology right from the earliest years of education, which is in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda and part of efforts to infuse technology into every sphere of life.

He stated that the Ministry of Science and Technology under his watch was on the lookout for veritable partnerships with public and private sector players to enable a smooth transition from analogue to digital operations across every sector of Lagos State.

The Chairman, House Committee on Education Mr. Okanlawon Sanni envisaged that proper harness and execution of the project will bring about the much-anticipated technology revolution in Africa.

He urged private investors to partner with Lagos towards successful execution of the project and gave an assurance that the Sanwo-Olu administration will continue to promulgate laws to deliver programmes and projects that will improve the life and living conditions of residents.

Ayomide Oyewole

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