Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has approved the implementation of the second phase of the CodeLagos Project, which will be launched in September 2017.
The approval is coming on the heels of the successful implementation of the pilot phase of the project which has trained 5,464 students of primary and secondary schools across the State.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Mr. Obafela Bank-Olemoh in a statement on Sunday, said that 65 schools including government and private schools took part in the pilot phase.
He said: “The training has delivered to the students critical life skills including basic computing, computational thinking and use of basic computer programming tools like Scratch and python over a period of eight weeks and the feedbacks have been inspiring.”
“Of the 65 schools in the pilot, 23 are government schools of which seven of them are girls’ only schools while two others are boys only.”
He also disclosed that the experience and knowledge garnered from the pilot phase has helped the Ministry to assess and fine-tune the framework and implementation model of the project in view of future roll out.
“This pilot phase has helped us test our assumptions and implementation plan, we have observed what worked and what didn’t and would put them into consideration for future roll out beginning with the next batch slated for September, 2017,” the Special Adviser said.
Meanwhile, the Government has concluded plans to roll out the project in all the State-owned public libraries to ensure access to CodeLagos classes for more Lagosians especially those out of the conventional schools system.
Bank- Olemoh said that more Lagosians would have the opportunity to take part in the training free-of-charge at any of the public libraries.
“We currently have 12 Libraries and we are setting up Coding Centres in each of the libraries for Lagosians to partake of the programme. We will also have coding centres in our tertiary institutions,” he said.
CodeLagos, an initiative of the Lagos State Ministry of Education, which aims to teach one million Lagosians to code by 2019, was unveiled to the public in November 2016.
According to Bank-Olemoh, “CodeLagos will ensure that the Lagos economy has the people that will drive its development for the next 50 years, positioning Lagos State as the technology frontier in Africa.
He enjoined Lagosians to visit www.codelagos.org as the registration portal would be open for the public to sign up for free on Monday August 21.
…Says Integrated Transportation Pivotal To Growth of State’s Economy
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday said that the first set of 5000 brand new buses under the Bus Reform Initiative, a brain child of his administration, would be flagged off within the next six months.
Governor Ambode, who spoke when students of the prestigious Harvard Kennedy School of Government, United States of America, paid him a courtesy visit at the Lagos House in Ikeja, said that his administration was working round the clock to revolutionalise the transportation system in the State and improve the way and manner 23 million Lagosians commute daily.
Fielding questions from the visiting students, Governor Ambode alluded to the fact that an integrated transportation system was key to growing the economy of the State, Governor Ambode said the 5000 new buses would be the first step by his administration to change the existing transportation system predominantly driven by the yellow buses, popularly known as danfo.
The Governor said: “In the last one year, we have decided that we must integrate rail, road water and air transportation systems in such a way that the system of connectivity is improved upon and I would like to have a direct partnership on how that can actually be actualised.
“Right now we are cleaning out all the yellow buses you see in the State. As we proceed in the next six months and a span of three years, we are introducing 5000 new buses of European standard to actually clean up the city because if you want to grow the economy of Lagos, transportation is key and is a major infrastructure for tourism itself.”
Governor Ambode noted that the dependence on road transportation in the last two decades, as the major means of transportation in the State has given rise to a chaotic system where about eight million Lagosians commute across the State every minute.
“The question is how do you move 23 million people on a daily basis from point A to point B with ease and comfort? So the way the city has been so designed in the last few years, the city has actually concentrated on only one mode of transportation, which is road transportation. There has not been any comprehensive planning to integrate all the modes of transportation in a way that makes it easy.
“There are eight million people walking on the streets of Lagos every minute, did we create more points for them. The answer is no. We have one-fifth of the State on water, are we doing effective water transportation, the answer is no. The rail system is still under construction in such a way that it can move mass number of people from one point to another. That is why we have a whole lot of congestion on the road,” the Governor said.
Besides, Governor Ambode said that State Government had made series of intervention to improve road transportation network through the creation of more bus terminals, lay bys, bus stops to accommodate the eventual take off of the Bus Reform Initiative.
The Governor also disclosed that the reforms in the water transportation system was ongoing and would take off fully within the next six to nine months, as a means to encourage residents to utilise it as an alternative means of transportation.
Governor Ambode also listed urban migration as one of the major challenges his administration was contending with just as he revealed that about 86 persons enter into Lagos on a daily basis without any plan to go back.
He said the attending consequence of such migration was evident on the State’s healthcare system as well as the 13,000 tonnes of waste generated daily in the State on a daily basis, saying that his administration however must continue to think outside the box to provide solutions to such infrastructural challenges.
“People fly in from Ghana to come and use our hospitals here in Lagos. So we now have to sit down beyond what we have learnt in school to look at the practical challenges of urban migration and good governance and things we have to mitigate against a population that is unaccounted for,” Governor Ambode said.
Thanking the Students for choosing to visit Lagos, he tasked them to go beyond acquiring leadership skills, but also get involved in policy formulation and implementation in their various domains.
Earlier, immediate past Vice President, International Affairs of Harvard Kennedy School, Mrs. Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji said the team was proud of the exploits of the Governor in the last two years, noting that despite the major challenges of urbanisation Lagos was facing, there was appreciable level of progress.
I am overwhelmed with joy that I can bring some of the brightest and the best brains in the world to come and see the beauty, the greatness, the resilience, the talent and accomplishment of Nigeria. Lagos is the staple success story of Nigeria. I know Nigeria is not where it ought to be, but I know a State that is sustaining itself by itself under a crucial administration that understands how people should feel, she said.
Thanking the Governor for receiving the Students, she said that the visit was to explore possible areas of partnership with staff of the State’s Public Service through research fellowships, policy analysis exercises, collaborations on talent, capabilities and constructive criticisms to move the State forward.
…Empowers 2,000 Others, Organizations With Grants, Assistive Technologies, Mobility Aids
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday announced that in line with the promise he made at a recent Town Hall Meeting held in Ojo, the State Government would soon distribute letters of employment to 250 persons living with disabilities who would be deployed to the State Civil Service as well as the Local Government Areas and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs).
The Governor also in furtherance of his promise to run an all-inclusive government, distributed various assistive technologies, mobility aids and financial grants to 2,000 persons living with disabilities and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) involved in taking care of such categories of people.
Items distributed included brand new 30-seater Hyundai and 12-seater Hyundai Buses, 500 White Canes, 1 Index Express Embosser with Duxbury Braille Translation Software, 10 Accessible Desktop Computers With Jaws Screen Reader, 20 Tactile Metric Sets, 100 Taylor Frame, 60 Magic White Boards, 6 Magnetic Boards, 300 Wheel Chairs, 50 Special Wheel Chairs (Rough Riders for people with Spinal Cord Injury), and 25 Computer sets for people living with hearing impairment.
In addition, 10 NGOs dealing with issues of disability in the State were given N500, 000 each as grants, while 500 people with disabilities received N100, 000 each as financial empowerment.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony held at De Blue Roof, LTV8 in Ikeja, Governor Ambode, who was represented by the Stateâ€™s Deputy Governor, Dr Idiat Adebule, said the development was a major testament to the commitment of his administration to demonstrate in practical terms the commitment to ensure an all-inclusive government and to empower persons living with disabilities to become wealth creators and employers of labour.
He said: “To reinforce our determination to support persons living with disabilities to realise their dream, a N500million Trust Fund was established last year on the first anniversary of this government for the welfare of persons with disabilities in Lagos State. This was followed with the inauguration of a board to ensure judicious management of the Fund.
“Today, we are witnessing the presentation of this Fund to the first set of beneficiaries. Our focus is to move away from the previous charitable orientation of empowerment towards a more socially and economically oriented approach of enablement that will make people living with disabilities to become wealth creators and employers of labour.
“For the first phase of the programme, we are presenting vehicles, equipment, funds to enable individuals, homes and NGOs take charge of their future, start businesses and create wealth for themselves,” Governor Ambode said.
While congratulating the beneficiaries, the Governor urged them to remain strong, steadfast, committed to their enterprise and make judicious use of the items and funds given to them, saying that their success would go a long way in changing the perception of those who are skeptical about their abilities.
The Governor also assured those yet to benefit from the Fund that the scheme would soon get to them, just as he charged members and governing board of the Lagos State Office of Disability Affairs (LASODA) to work harder to ensure that greater number of people are supported under the programme before the end of the year.
Besides, Governor Ambode said: “Let us use this opportunity to assure all that in fulfillment of the promise made during the Town Hall Meeting at Ojo, 250 people with disabilities will soon receive letters of employment into the State Civil Service as well as Local Government and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) across the State.
“We are already leading the way and it is my expectation that individuals, private and corporate entities will partner with the State Government by contributing generously to the Trust Fund.”
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Principal of Pacelli School for the Visually Impaired/Blind located in Surulere, Sister Jane Onyeneri said the gesture by Governor Ambode was highly commendable coming at a time the country was grappling with economic challenges.
She said by the development, Governor Ambode had demonstrated that “he is a man of his words and ready to fulfill whatever promise made to the people.”
Also, Chairperson of Joint National Association Of Persons Living With Disability, Lagos State Chapter, Deaconess Beyioku Alasa and Mainland Coordinator of People Living With Disabilities, Mr Kehinde Oshilaja, commended Governor Ambode for his commitment to the welfare of people with disabilities, saying that the development had indeed proved that the Governor is a man of integrity who is always ready to fulfill whatever promises made.