Mrs Folashade Adefisayo, the state Commissioner for Education, made the assertion at a UNICEF supported youth dialogue in Lagos.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the dialogue was part of the activities to mark the 30th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child CRC@30 tagged “#Naija Youth Talk -Lagos Edition”.
The programme gathered 60 children and youths with breakout stations talking about Skill Development & Employability, Education and Health, Challenges and the Nigeria they want to see in these areas.
Adefisayo said: “It will also invest on teachers and repairing of infrastructure in schools.
“The Governor of Lagos State is working assiduously on repairing a lot of schools.
“We know the schools are falling into a state of disrepair and he is taking significant care of that, and giving them the resources they need to run their schools.
“We are going to invest in teachers, because many schools don’t have enough.
“So, we are going to train them and keep on training them; we are also going to look at the curriculum to know what they are learning.
“We are going to focus on our Government Technical Colleges, values and character-based education to ensure schools make sense for the students.
“We know we cannot do it alone with our own resources; what we are going to do is so huge in dimensions that we want to now partner with people.’’
The commissioner said that the state government was concerned about education.
“We have increased the budget and putting in more money to improve education; we are addressing the infrastructure in the schools for education development.
“We are recruiting teachers now and we are also looking at the curriculum to look into what they are learning as regards value,” she said.
The commissioner also advised youths to excel in their endeavour and be encouraged to do so.
“These young people deserve the best we can give them.
“We have to give them the education that will ensure that our future is assured, because the greatness of Nigeria lies in all these children,’’ she said.
Also, Mr Muhammad Okorie, Officer in Charge, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Lagos Field Office, explained that the gathering was to advance the rights of the child.
According to him, it is the 30th Anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
“It has been 30 years since after its adoption.
“The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is the most ratified UN Treaty and has played a central role to improve the lives of children around the world.
“ In our midst are young people talking about issues affecting them. We have youths across all segments telling us issues facing them.
“Children are very informed; the technology interventions have made children to make decisions.
“They know more than us and they are in best situation to tell us what they want. They discussed on health, education, skill development and employability,’’ Okorie said.
The UNICEF officer said that the ideas generated would be disseminated and tracked.
“All the beautiful ideas that will be generated will be taken further than this place. Technology has made things so easy for us.
“ The children are looking at Sustainable Development Goals themselves and looking at how it affects them; we are going to give additional voice to it.
“We will take notes of their views and ensure they are integrated into the core planning of policies,’’ Okorie said.
One of the participants, Samuel Onche , on behalf of his group, said that most parents in Nigeria do not care and only want to the child to focus on their own decisions or passion.
“The group also identified that the current environment in Nigeria is not conducive for students to learn, especially with inadequate facilities, equipment and teachers,’’ he said.
Onche urged governments to be steadfast and address the issue of quality education in Nigeria.
Also, Nmesoma Okonkwo, who represented her group, said that youths were scared of venturing into skills acquisition because of lack of support and funding.
Okonkwo tasked governments and parents to encourage their children and “raise next generations of creative thinkers providing innovative solutions’’.
Edited by Vivian Ihechu/Olagoke Olatoye