The wife of the Lagos State Governor, Mrs Bolanle Ambode, says seeing children going to school without shoes is heartbreaking.
She spoke on Monday in Lagos at the launch of “Project Bright Steps” – her initiative established to address such problems and focus on children’s social welfare, education and healthcare.
She said, “Wearing shoes is not a luxury, but a necessity. It is heartbreaking to see some of our children going to school without shoes.
“Walking without shoes has caused many children to fall ill or lose their feet to infections and other life-threatening diseases.
“This initiative will begin to equip primary one to three pupils in all public primary schools across the state with made in Nigeria shoes, socks, bags and other education materials.
“This is also to encourage local production of school materials as over 175, 000 pupils will benefit from the project this year.
“These children represent the future of our country and we will continue to do our best to motivate them for excellence.”
She noted that a properly equipped pupil is better motivated, more confident and has high self esteem, which will translate to better academic performance.
Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, represented by his deputy, Dr Idiat Adebule, lauded the initiative, saying the education and moulding of children – the nation’s future leaders – required collective effort.
“These materials will give succour to these children and help them unleash their full potentials in life.
“Our administration will continue to ensure that every child enjoys quality education that will transform their lives for a better and brighter tomorrow,” he said.
The governor urged non-governmental organisations and well-meaning Nigerians to support government’s efforts in providing basic education needs and making schooling conducive for children in the state.
Mr Olanrewaju Ogunyemi, Chairman, House Committee on Education, Lagos State House of Assembly, also said at the event that infrastructure upgrade was required in some primary schools in the state.
He urged private organisations to partner with government and take up rehabilitation and repair projects in such schools as their corporate social responsibility to the communities.