A spirit of joy and accomplishment filled the air as the Epe community gathered to celebrate the graduation of outstanding youths from various vocational programs.
The grand ceremony organized by the Lagos State Government Office of The Special Adviser on Education Agency for Mass Education in conjunction with Girls Improving Resilience Through Livelihood and Health (GIRL-H) Project, Mercy Corps, and Action Health Incorporated commemorated the outstanding dedication and commitment of students of Alhaji Seriki Bamu Vocational Center in Papa, Epe, who were presented with certificates, start-up kits, and equipment by generous sponsors to kickstart their entrepreneurial ventures.
Kakalistiq.com reports that the event held at Lagos Theatre was a vibrant spectacle, featuring fashion parades, make-up shows, drama sketches, and cultural performances that showcased the creative talents of the young graduates. The audience was captivated by the artistic flair displayed during the entertaining showcases.
Distinguished guests lent their presence to the celebration, including Professor Kasali, Permanent Secretary, Office of the Special Adviser on Education; Mrs. Oluwakemi Kalesanwo, Director, Agency for Mass Education; Mrs. Adenike Esset, Executive Director, Action Health Incorporated; Hon. Aliu Shittu, Executive Secretary, Epe Local Government Education Authority; Mrs. Frances Olubanjo, Principal, Alhaji Seriki Bamu Vocational Center, Papa, Epe; and Miss Toluwalope Owabumuwa, State Program Officer, Girls Improving Resilience Through Livelihood and Health (Girl-H) Project, among others.
Others include; Miss Seriki, Office of Adult Literacy Education; Mr. Ibrahim Mustapha; Mrs. Ayu, HOD Vocational; Mr. Akin Johnson and Mrs. Oladunjoye.
In her address, Mrs. Oluwakemi Kalesanwo expressed Governor Babajide Sanwoolu’s excitement about the successful integration of education and tech skills in the vocational training programs. These skills align with the THEMES+ agenda, which aims to equip the youths with the knowledge to leverage social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to enhance their businesses. She applauded the partners and sponsors for their contributions and looked forward to future collaborations.
Hon. Aliu Shittu, aka SAICO, was brimming with joy as he commended the students for embracing trades as a means of self-reliance and entrepreneurship. He praised the inclusion of trade subjects in the school curriculum, emphasizing its importance for the graduates’ future. He also urged Governor Sanwoolu to establish vocational centers in Ikosi/Ejinrin LCDA to further promote vocational education in the region.
Mrs. Adenike Esset, Executive Director of Action Health Incorporated, stressed the significance of the training in building resilience and enhancing the graduates’ capacity to tackle life’s challenges. She expressed gratitude to Miss Toluwalope Owabumuwa of the Girl-H Project for investing in the students’ lives and encouraged the graduates to share their knowledge to support their peers.
Mrs. Olufunsho Bukoye, representing the Girl-H Project, provided an overview of the project’s implementation and impact on the Epe community. The initiative worked with 110 mentors across 11 communities in Epe LGA, enrolling 4,130 participants. Among them, 3634 were linked to mentors, with 1107 participants experiencing positive transitions, including returning to school, engaging in short-term skills, becoming community artisans, and receiving support from the Agency for Mass Education.
Miss Tolulope Owabumuwa expressed her gratitude to the State Government and other partners while congratulating the graduands for successfully completing their vocational training. She encouraged them to help their peers who did not have the opportunity to participate by sharing the knowledge they gained.
The graduation ceremony was a significant milestone for the young graduates, empowering them with vital skills and resources for a brighter future. The event’s success was attributed to the dedication and support of partners, sponsors, and stakeholders, leaving a positive impact on the youths and the community.