Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Friday expressed delight at the winning of the annual Spelling Bee Competition by students of public schools in the State, saying that the development was an eloquent testimony that his administration is on the right path to transform the education sector.
His Excellency, Akinwunmi Ambode, who spoke at the Lagos House, Ikeja while hosting the 16th One-day Governor, Master Olaseinde Olufemi Joshua and members of his cabinet, said the fact that winners of the competition emerged from public schools in inner communities was a clear indication that public schools in the State are now becoming exemplary citadel of learning.
He said: "I must say that I am impressed about the mixture of the people that we are now celebrating. I can personally say that I did watch the school debate on television and I am very excited that the schools from which the winners emerged are from our inner communities in Shasha in Alimosho, Badagry, Ilupeju and also in Mushin.
"That in itself shows that we are on the right path. We must be able to show that our public schools are exemplary citadel of learning that we can also use to showcase the fact that the future of Lagos is brighter than what we have now," Governor Ambode said.
While congratulating the winners of the competition for doing the State proud, Governor Ambode said the competition was one of the ways of encouraging younger ones to venture into position of leadership, adding that development would also go a long way in preparing the students for position of leadership in the future.
He added: "We want to say that the six winners we are celebrating today are worthy to be celebrated and we will indeed celebrate them and use them as examples to encourage other younger ones to reach out so that we can be proud that in another twenty years, these ones will take over from us and we would be proud that we really did the State proud."
Besides, the Governor congratulated the State’s Ministry of Education and other stakeholders for sustaining the initiative which started about 16 years ago, and called for the scaling up of the initiative to accommodate more younger students.
Earlier, the One-day Governor, Master Olaseinde Olufemi Joshua, a student of Shasha Community Senior High School saluted the vision of the wife of former Lagos State Governor, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, who was the pioneer of the Spelling Bee competition, saying that the competition had helped students in the State to be more dedicated to their studies and strive for excellence.
He added that the competition would not have been possible without the free education policy of the Lagos State Government over the years, which is being sustained by the present administration.
Speaking on Governor Ambode’s administration, Master Joshua said: “Barely a year after taking over the reign of power as the Governor of the State, Lagosians have witnessed a rapid transformation of infrastructural facilities and integrated lighting system. There is no gainsaying that Lagosians’ dream of becoming Africa’s model megacity is becoming into reality through your hard work and dedication.
"This is evident in your meticulous implementation of various developmental programmes. I can easily predict that our visionary Governor Ambode will take Lagos State to the promise land within his first tenure in office," he said.
Master Joshua, who said his father could not make it to the event due to health challenges, however, urged the Governor to consider donating a school bus, a well-equipped E-library to his school and the rehabilitation of drainage systems as well as the roads leading to his school.
Responding, Governor Ambode granted the request for a school bus in Joshua’s school and all other requests in respect of the other schools of the winners.
He also ordered that Joshua’s father be treated at the health facilities of the State Government.
Other winners are One-day Deputy Governor, Komolafe Kehinde of Immaculate Heart Senior High School, Maryland; One-day Speaker, Okinbaloye Rashidat of Ilupeju Senior Grammar School; One-day Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Ogunfowora Islamiyat of Badagry Senior Grammar School; One-day Commissioner for Education, Abdulkarim Asiyat of Atunrase Senior High School and One-day Commissioner for Science and Technology, Ahwanyinu Sesinu of Kakon Senior Secondary School.