From Promise to Progress: EKOEXCEL Delivers on Governor Sanwo-Olu’s Vision for Education

January 15, 2024

As the doors of Lagos State’s primary schools reopened for the second term of the 2023/2024 academic year, the excitement was palpable. Pupils eager to learn and parents anticipating good grades were greeted not only by familiar classrooms but also by the tangible evidence of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s unwavering commitment to transforming education in Lagos State. That evidence, EKOEXCEL, continues to deliver on its promise, witnessing the Governor’s vision for excellence in child education and learning become a reality, one child, one classroom, one community at a time.

As schools reopened for the second term on the 8th of January, the excitement echoed not only Governor Sanwo-Olu’s unwavering commitment to education but also the optimism expressed by Lagos State Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Mr. Jamiu Alli-Balogun. During his visit to schools across Lagos, Mr. Alli-Balogun delivered a New Year message to educators, reaffirming the state’s commitment to utilizing its resources to ensure the safety and well-being of students, pupils, and school personnel in the new year.

Governor Sanwo-Olu, from the very start of his administration, has made education a top priority. His consistent increase in budgetary allocation for the sector is a testament to his belief in its power to empower individuals and build a brighter future for Lagos. This commitment found its perfect embodiment in EKOEXCEL, a statewide program launched in 2019 to revolutionize primary education.

The results speak for themselves. EKOEXCEL has:

  • Empowered over 13,000 teachers with tablets and updated curricula, equipping them for 21st-century teaching.
  • Transformed classrooms into vibrant hubs of learning, with technology playing a central role in enhancing the teacher-pupil interaction.
  • Developed resilience against disruptions, utilizing blended learning solutions like EKOEXCEL@home to keep learning alive during the pandemic.
  • Quantified its impact, with recent evaluations showing EKOEXCEL pupils making substantial progress in reading fluency and foundational numeracy compared to their pre-program performance.
  • Closed the learning gap, with EKOEXCEL schools reducing learning deprivation by 36.2%, propelling pupils to perform at the level of upper-middle-income countries.
  • Garnered international recognition, featuring prominently at the prestigious Education World Forum in London and being awarded the “Most Innovative Digital Learning Platform of the Year” at the Titans of Tech Awards, twice!

These achievements are not just numbers; they represent the transformed lives of countless children. Pupils who were once struggling are now thriving, teachers feel empowered, and parents can see a brighter future for their children.

But the journey doesn’t end here. EKOEXCEL continues to innovate, recently launching a dedicated real-time monitoring control center called the Situation Room. This state-of-the-art facility provides real-time data from all 1013 schools under the program, enhancing transparency and accountability while allowing for data-driven decision-making.

EKOEXCEL has delivered quantifiable results that speak volumes about its effectiveness. Recent evaluations paint a picture of phenomenal progress: pupils are making substantial leaps in reading fluency and foundational numeracy, closing the learning gap at an astounding rate. This surge in performance isn’t just statistics; it’s a shift from low-income country levels to those of upper-middle-income nations, is a testament to the program’s ability to empower even the most disadvantaged communities.

This transformative impact aligns seamlessly with SDG4’s objectives. EKOEXCEL’s focus on inclusivity and equitable access caters to diverse learning styles, ensuring no child is left behind. Its technology-driven solutions and teacher training promote lifelong learning opportunities, while its dedication to gender equality paves the way for a future where education empowers all.

Perhaps most importantly, the program equips students with the knowledge and skills necessary to become responsible global citizens, fostering sustainable development and promoting a culture of peace and understanding.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s unwavering commitment to education and achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 – Quality Education – resonated loud and clear during his 2024 budget presentation speech to the Lagos State House of Assembly. 

He declared, “Our Eko Excel Initiative (“Leave No Child Behind”)… has trained over 18,000 teachers and equipped them with teaching tablets and the skills needed to provide high-quality education, while also equipping over 500,000 pupils with personal e-learning devices and textbooks.”

It was a powerful statement, not just about the program’s achievements, but about the Governor’s unwavering dedication to building a future where every child in Lagos has the opportunity to reach their full potential.

As schools reopen, filled with the joyful sounds of learning and the promise of a brighter future, EKOEXCEL stands as a testament to the power of collaboration, innovation, and unwavering dedication. It is a movement, driven by Governor Sanwo-Olu’s vision and fueled by the tireless efforts of teachers, parents, and the entire Lagos State community, marching steadily towards a future where every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential, one classroom, one community, one SDG4 objective at a time.

This article appeared originally on Daily Independent, January 12, 2024