Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has launched the Lagos Sustainable Development Goals Club in Public Schools across the State as part of his administration’s effort towards making the youth core participants in development actions.
The Governor, in his address, acknowledged that the 2030 Agenda provides a shared blueprint for peace and a prosperous future, describing the initiative as an insightful way of institutionalising SDGs in the education system.
Sanwo-Olu explained that while the government has responsibly been pursuing efforts to leave for future generations a planet that is healthy and habitable, it is important to create pathways for the young ones.
Represented at the launch held at Alausa recently by the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Folashade Jaji, the Governor affirmed that the initiative reinforces his administration’s keenness in strengthening the faculty of youth to meaningfully engage society responsibly.
According to him, “Our lives are shaped by our everyday actions and inactions. Whatever actions we take today go a long way in shaping our future. We are determined in shaping the future and ensuring a safer planet for future generations. We are taking a collective responsibility by being informed, conscious and action-oriented. And this does not in any way exclude the older generations”.
“A sustainable lifestyle is a cluster of habits and patterns of behaviour embedded in society and facilitated by institutions, norms and infrastructures that frame individual choice”, he said.
Mr. Governor stated further that the propensity and opportunities the club will have in the life of students and society is enormous, maintaining that bridging the knowledge gap of sustainability will facilitate the delivery of the ambitious targets.
“As a modern society, we want to be defined by impactful policies that will continuously unleash the ingenuity of our young ones and the school environment remains one of the most natural habitats to reinforce that positive changes in their life. Therefore, everyone must be provided the space to contribute towards this ambition as we come together to ensure no one is left behind”, he affirmed.
While appreciating teachers across the State’s Six Education Districts for their consistent pursuit of good educational culture, the Governor confirmed that it is time to accelerate and support innovations that will help design critical solutions and create tipping points cues needed to push the trajectories in a positive direction.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Sustainable Development Goals and Investment, Mrs. Solape Hammond remarked that given the urgency needed to increase action and intensify collective efforts towards the actualisation of these goals, the capacity and aptitude of the younger generation remains the best asset that can be exploited to drive a thriving society.
In her word, “While our problems get a lot of news coverage and just as deserving of attention are the plans to fix them. This initiative is a positive movement that will support the actualisation of the global ambition of ensuring that all human beings enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives and that economic, social, and technological progress occurs in harmony with nature”.
“The good news for us as a state is that we are seeing a variety of young players stepping up for the SDGs. Continuously embracing sustainable ideas and strategising to meet the targets of these goals. We will continue to provide the structure with the enabling environment to engage and encourage them to take ownership of this Agenda as we have been doing through the Lagos SDGs Youth Alliance and the Lagos Volunteer Corp”, she averred.
In his remark, the Head of Service, Mr. Muri-Okunola acknowledged that the agenda which was articulated across 17 Goals, was designed intentionally to represent a new approach to development, threading together economic, social, and environmental dimensions and acknowledging that decisions and approaches are related and have both synergies.
He said the most profound approach we can adopt to sustain students’ interest in development initiatives is through education by intimating to them the importance of developing a sustainability mindset.
The occasion also features the launch of the SDGs Secondary Book to enhance the learning of SDGs in schools and provide practical guidance for students as they set out to play their roles in building a safe, secure and prosperous future.
The highlight of the event was the amazing presentations of dramas, songs and word poetry from different schools on actions to be taken to have a sustainable future and why the 17 Goals are key to transforming our world to end poverty, foster peace, safeguard the rights and dignity of all people and protect the planet.
All participating schools were commended for their contributions while outstanding schools were rewarded with prices.
Dignitaries present at the event include the Body of Permanent Secretaries and Tutors-General, a Representative of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), students from all six districts and other relevant stakeholders.