Lagos Vows to Tackle Overpopulation in Public Schools

The Lagos State Government has said it is working to tackle overpopulation in public schools across the state.

The Director-General, Office of Education Quality Assurance, Mrs Abiola Seriki-Ayeni, in an exclusive chat with The PUNCH, said the state government had quality education for pupils in schools in the state as its topmost priority.

Speaking on the teacher-student ratio by the National Education Policy which recommends 1:40 for secondary schools, 1:35 for primary schools, and 1:25 for preschoolers, the OEQA DG said the government was building more schools in places where existing schools are overpopulated and employing more qualified teachers while training existing ones in effective class management.

“The demand for enrolment in government schools in the state is very high. The government acknowledges the challenges that come with such demand.

“Lagos State is the most populous state in Nigeria; in fact, Lagos is what makes Nigeria the most populous black nation… But that does not mean that we do not have standards when it comes to the provision of education service delivery.

“There is a constant argument on which is to come first; is it the access or is it the quality? And Lagos State is doing both. We’re not closing our doors to students, at the same time we know that if we have an ecosystem with private schools that are more regulated, that are more standardised, there will be education for all students.

“As a government, we will not sacrifice quality for anything. During this administration alone, our governor has placed high premium on building more schools in areas where existing schools are overpopulated so that we can depopulate the existing schools, which hasn’t been done in a long while, and rehabilitating the existing schools for students to learn more comfortably.

“The government of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is also employing more qualified teachers into the system to ensure that the quality of delivery in schools is not compromised,” Seriki-Ayeni said.