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Lagos State to revive scouting in schools for enhanced safety, character building

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In an effort to bolster safety and character development among students, the Lagos State government has announced plans to reintroduce scouting activities in public primary and secondary schools across the state’s local governments and local council development areas (LCDAs).

The Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Jamiu Alli-Balogun, revealed this initiative on Monday during an investiture ceremony where he and the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Abayomi Abolaji, were officially inducted as executive members of the Scout Association of Nigeria, Lagos State Council.

Expressing his enthusiasm for joining the association after missing out during his own secondary school days over four decades ago, Commissioner Alli-Balogun pledged his commitment to actively participate in scouting activities and undergo necessary training to support optimal performance.

Highlighting the historic role scouting once played in Nigerian public schools, Commissioner Alli-Balogun emphasized the potential of scouting to contribute significantly to the Safe School Initiative, enhancing security and instilling discipline among students.

“The revitalisation of scouting will not only enhance the Safe School Initiative but also contribute to addressing insecurity in schools,” Commissioner Alli-Balogun remarked, stressing the importance of engaging students in productive and character-building activities.

Similarly, Permanent Secretary Abolaji expressed joy at fulfilling a dream he harboured for 42 years by joining the association, pledging to uphold the scout oath and continue supporting its progress even after retiring from public service.

Olohuntoyin Adebesin, the Commissioner of the Scout Association of Nigeria, Lagos Council, highlighted scouting’s holistic approach to life skills development, emphasising its benefits for students from diverse backgrounds.

He outlined that scouting promotes effective leadership, teamwork, time management, problem-solving, and communication skills.

Adebesin underscored the vital role scouting plays in citizenship training and community service, noting its focus on national, state, and community events, disaster preparedness, and first aid provision.

However, he outlined key challenges facing the association, including funding constraints and logistical limitations such as vehicle availability.

Adebesin appealed to Commissioner Alli-Balogun for support in addressing these obstacles to ensure effective scouting programs statewide.

In response, Alli-Balogun affirmed the commitment of the government to revitalising scouting, promising to establish a committee to coordinate efforts with local governments and educational districts.

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