By G9ija

Parents, community leaders, School Based Management Committee (SBMC) members, traditional rulers and youth groups in communities within Kosofe in Lagos State have been told to be interested in what goes on in public schools in their vicinities.

The message was borne by Human Development Initiatives (HDI), a non-profit group that advocates quality basic education delivery.

The group, backed by funds from the Mac Arthur Foundation, gathered stakeholders in various communities in Kosofe at St. Agnes Primary School, Maryland last Monday to enlighten them about the important roles they could play in making schools around them function better.

They learnt about the Universal Basic Education (UBE) Law of 2004, the joint funding of basic education by the Federal and state governments, and project implementation among others.

One of the facilitators and Project Programmes Officer of HDI, Mr. Johnson Ibidapo, told the participants about the 2018 Action Plan of the Lagos State Basic Education Board (SUBEB), which explains how the board plans to spend its N2.94 billion matching grant from the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC).

He urged them to be aware about projects in schools around their areas and follow up to ensure such projects are well implemented.

He said education was a collective responsibility that could not be left to government alone.  Given scarce resources, he said it was very important that whatever was appropriated was well utilised.

“We are exposing them to the content of the UBE Lagos SUBEB Action Plan.There are interventions allocated to their schools.  We want them to take ownership of these projects.

“We will be giving them a hand book of these projects, including format of letter writing to report issues they come across in these schools. We want them to monitor these projects and be able to hold duty bearers to account,” he said.

Another faciliator, Senior Programme Officer, Ms Bola Dare, urged the participants to monitor school attendance rate of school-aged children in their environment.  She said they should question parents/gaurdians who fail to send their wards to school as it is against the UBE Law.

“If you see any child under 18 not going to school being used as a househelp, report to the Lagos State Ministry of Youth,” she said.