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LAGOS: Reliable data key to effective planning, says DG

THE Director-General, Office of Education Quality Assurance (OEQA), State Ministry of Education, Abiola Seriki-Ayeni has reiterated the need for private primary and secondary schools in the state to collaborate with the state government for effective data collection, stressing that reliable data is key to effective planning.  

Seriki-Ayeni stated this while receiving the Deputy Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) Abuja, Dr. Isiaka Kolawole and officials of the commission, who were on a working visit to her office at Alausa, Ikeja. 

The director-general noted that her office has ensured that processes and procedures are in place to ensure that every single child is well-equipped and has access to quality education. 

She further stated that, since the inception of the present administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the office has been collating data on public and private schools and teachers in the state for effective monitoring and quality assurance. 

According to her, the Covid-19 pandemic created an opportunity for the agency to get available data on schools operating in the state as they were required to register before they could reopen, adding that a training programme called “Moving Forward” was initiated by the agency to train teachers toward the safe reopening of the state public and private schools. 

She said: “Covid-19 presented a challenge, as we were accustomed to doing training in halls previously, so we had to switch and what we did was to create a One-hour online training programme where we mandated that all schools and teachers both in public and private to register. Before, we never had any information or data regarding the number of private school teachers so this created an excellent opportunity.” 

Seriki-Ayeni further stated that the office has embarked on continuous registration, data update and validation exercise for all approved and yet-to-be-approved nursery, primary, secondary, and Sixth Form schools operating in the state. 

“Schools below the tertiary level are required to visit the website of the Office of Education Quality of Assurance via www.oeqalagos.com to access the data update form and download guidelines to completing the form. This has given the state government an opportunity to know the number of private school teachers as well as schools in the state,” Seriki-Ayeni. 

She, however, assured the UBEC delegation that they are free to access the data for policy formulation as the state government has been relying on the data available for policy planning and implementation. 

The Deputy Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) Abuja, Dr. Isiaka Kolawole stated that the importance of the visit was to collaborate with the state to get data on private schools for National policy formulation and planning, noting that it would be reasonable to have the buy-in of private school owners and teachers in policy formulation. 

He stated further that it is essential to have private schools incorporated into the national personnel audit for basic education as this will help to obtain the Key Performance Index (KPI) as well as track the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in basic education across the state. 

The Chairman of State Universal Basic Education Board (LASUBEB), Hon. Wahab Alawiye-King submitted that the agency has assisted UBEC in the area of data for public schools in the state.

He, however, assured the private school operators that the national personnel audit is not for the purpose of taxation but for effective tracking and monitoring. 

Alawiye-King averred that other states have been gaining a lot from the federal government and international donor agencies because of their collaboration with private schools in the area of data but decried the level of cooperation of private school operators in the state on data collection.

The chairman, therefore, appealed to the private school operators to see the state agencies as worthy partners in progress.

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