The Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr. Idiat Oluranti Adebule has said that lack of adequate supervision engenders negative attitude during the formative years of children and adolescents in any society.
While delivering an address at the 8th anniversary of the re-introduction and rekindling of the interest of children of Lagos State in Voluntary Uniformed Clubs, Dr. Adebule affirmed that “hanging out unsupervised with peers contributes negatively to child and adolescent development. However, participation in supervised constructive activities provides adolescents with opportunities to gain social skills from positive interactions with peers”.
Adebule who was represented at the event by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mr. Adesina Odeyemi said “there is no gainsaying that participation in a supervised and constructive activity limits the time that is available for less constructive activity, such as juvenile delinquency, alcohol, drug use and getting involved in risky behaviors among adolescents and adults”.
She said studies have shown that adolescents who participate in club activities did better academically, were more optimistic, had higher self-esteem, and expressed greater self-confidence than the national average, and they were more oriented towards serving their communities in the future.
Dr. Adebule noted that clubs offer young people activities, roles, and relationships that can contribute positively to their development and prepare them for problem-solving, conflict resolution, critical thinking, identity exploration, collaboration, organisation, and the pursuit of excellence and productivity in work, family, and other community settings.
The Deputy Governor opined that mentoring relationships are important characteristics of clubs and youth programs, adding that adolescents who have an after-school relationship with mentors are far less likely to use drugs or alcohol than those who do not have such relationships.
According to her, several developmental theories point to the importance of adult mentoring for the child and adolescent development.
She advised that youths should enrol in clubs that are focused on a specific area of need like the Red Cross or other similar uniformed clubs to train and develop themselves in service to humanity.
Adebule also urged the adults and leaders of the various voluntary uniformed organisations to take mentoring serious and provide leadership to our youth being leaders of tomorrow and assured that posterity would appreciate their efforts.
Earlier, the Director of Co-Curricular, Mrs. Babs Akinyeye in a welcome address had noted that a shift of children’s attention from purpose driven organisations, is largely responsible for most of the social devices we have today ranging from cultism to alcohol and drug abuse, rape, robbery and examination malpractices.
She revealed that it was in an attempt to stem this negative tide that the State Government re-introduced the clubs to the State Public Schools and encouraged children to enrol in them and participate actively.
The commemoration of the anniversary is also an avenue created to allow students associate with the other members of the clubs and interact with adults who act as role models and mentors, she added.