The Lagos State Government on Thursday said it paid a total sum of N4.2 billion as the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) fees for students in four years.
Sanwo-Olu said this in Ikeja, at the Ministerial Session of the 67th National Council on Education (NCE) meeting, with the theme: ”Addressing the Challenges of Policy Implementation: A Panacea for the Achievement of Education 2030 Agenda.”
The governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Primary and Basic Education, Mr Jamiu Alli-Balogun, said the government had not defaulted in the payment of WAEC fees for all public school students in SS3.
He said the payment of the examination fee was a policy which commenced in 2000, when President Bola Tinubu was the Lagos State Governor.
According to him, the intervention started with N200 million in 2000 but metamorphosed into a financial commitment of over N1 billion yearly.
”In the last four years, we have paid over N4.2 billion to keep our promise of full payment of West African Senior School Certificate Examination fees for our public school students, to ensure no student is left behind in the secondary school level of education,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu said easy access to education was another area of focus for the government, irrespective of gender or capability.
He said the government introduced free education at the primary and secondary level with the enactment of the Lagos Compulsory Free Universal Basic Education Law of 2005.
The governor said the law set out a policy to provide free, compulsory, universal basic education for every child of primary and secondary school age and required parents and guardians to ensure that children of school age in their care attended school.
He said this had been yielding the desired result as the sector had continued to see an increase in the number of children in those levels of learning.
Sanwo-Olu said the sector had also continued to see an increase in the number of schools in developing and rural areas of the state.
He said, with the government’s approval, a total of six secondary schools were established between January and November in order to encourage easy access to secondary education.