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Lagos is now Africa’s most populous city and its education system faces all of the challenges of the fast growing, vital mega city. Lagos State has the largest and the strongest private sector in the country and this is obviously an area of strength and great potential to the state. This is equally applicable in the education sector, where up to 60% of students attend private schools. While this reduces the task of the State Government in providing education for millions of children, it however presents major challenges both in public and private schools as these children should benefit from a quality education that prepares them to be strong, self-reliant, dynamic, democratic, egalitarian and full of bright opportunity for the society.
Although there are many challenges facing the state basic education sector, there has been an improvement in the provision of infrastructure and equipment, library facilities, and staff capacity development. Consequently, there is gradual improvement in the performance of students in examinations. Also the commitment and support of parents and the community has contributed to this improved performance.
The number of children requiring education in Lagos is fast growing, not just from natural population growth but also the influx from other states. The number of children requiring education in public schools is currently increasing further as students in private schools are seeking transfer to public schools, especially at Junior Secondary level. The large number puts the system under strain and this is demonstrated through the census data on basic education schools facilities.