By G9ija

The Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LASUBEB) in collaboration with the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) has trained over 500 head teachers and school support officers ahead of possible resumption next Monday.

The head teachers were exposed to leadership and school managing training to boost their productivity for three days last week at the LASUBEB Headquarters in Maryland, St Francis Primary School, Maryland and six other venues across the state.

Permanent board member in charge of basic education quality assurance, LASUBEB, Mr. Dayo Israel, said 350 head teachers were trained to support their teachers and also be resourceful in the use of their running cost and make use of the social capital around them through the School Based Management Committee (SBMC), the host community, private organisations, public-spirited individuals and others.

“Now why this is different is because it is not about teaching or learning or other component but to focus on teachers’ professional development in particular when it comes to school leadership and providing support for classroom managers.  So the training that is ongoing now is training for about 350 head teachers out of 1016 head teachers.  We are also running training for school support officers across Lagos for about 157 of them,” he said.

Chairman, LASUBEB, Mr. Wahab Alawiye-King visited some of the training centres and addressed the head teachers and support officers in their various classes.

Alawiye-King told the head teachers it was important to take ownership of their schools.

He said: “For us, monitoring and evaluation is key and we know we must empower you.  The era of quality control is over and as quality assurance we will provide support.  Take ownership of your schools wherever you are.”

Addressing the School Support officers, the SUBEB boss said their work in supporting schools was two-fold – contribution assessment and consequence assessment.

He urged them not to harass head teachers when they visit schools but provide support for them.

“As school support officers you are not going to school to find fault.  What we are using is the quality assurance model so we can support schools to achieve results in teaching and learning,” he said.

Some of the head teachers told reporters that the training opened their eyes to how they could do things differently to achieve greater results.

Though commending government effort, they however said they faced herculean challenges running their schools because of insecurity and inadequate funds.  The head teachers currently get N20,000 as running cost monthly, which they said is inadequate.

Head Teacher of Alapere Nursery and Primary School Kosofe, “Mrs. Fisayo Olusanya, said: “Now I have issues with water in my school.  The government water that was built is there is not running. Last year we were fetching water outside and called those mallams that fetch waters to bring into the school. Presently the toilet is not functioning although it is a modern toilet but it is not working per usual.”

Head Teacher of Irepodun Nursery and Primary School Alapere, Ketu, Mrs. Latefat Folorunso said increased funding would help the school afford to pay its electricity bill regularly.

“If they increase our money the issue of electricity will be settled on a monthly basis. Other things we need in our school are security,” she said.

The LASUBEB chairman had told The Nation in a previous interview that there were plans to increase the running cost.