The US Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador W. Stuart Symington, at the recent media-launch event of Semicolon, had the audience listening attentively as he relayed the importance of inclusion in the search for solutions to the myriad challenges in Nigeria.
He advised that everyone is carried along and everyone is given a piece of the action as that is a means for each of us to be peace even with the obvious diversities.
According to him, until we carry out research and find out what every Nigerian individual ethnic group produces, consumes and considers important, we would only assume and find no lasting answer to questions about development.
This philosophy obviously tallies with that of the CEO of Semicolon, Mr Sam Immanuel.
While delivering his introduction speech, Mr Immanuel relayed a worrying discovery from the statistics garnered from the application entries for the Semicolon course.
According to him, among the 31 students who make up the first cohort, there is neither northerner nor Niger Deltan.
He also revealed that there are just four women among the thirty-one students.
As a fix for his observation, he shared the company’s goal for the next cohort; to have 30 – 40% of the students as women, 25% of them northerners and 5-10% of them Niger Deltans.
Following the definition given by the Director of Operations, British Council, Stephen Forbes; Education should be able to adapt, should remain relevant, should help deal with real-life problems and should promote creativity.
If such education is made available to only a particular sect, there would be an imbalance in knowledge and this would bring about varying mindsets and vision.
There’s no way we would head the same way of this happened. Education should be for male, female, every tribe, every state, every region and every zone
We might have been brought together from different beliefs, mindsets, and expectations but we are in the same boat now, and any harm to the boat means that we all are in danger of sinking.
We cannot expect Nigeria to be seen as technologically advanced or recognized as a community where innovative ideas are birthed if the education which strokes the flame of inspiration is made available for only a selected few.
Whatever it is that makes us different, let’s put that aside and realize that we have to grow the idea called Nigeria. We have to work together. We have to give everyone a piece of the action if we want there to be peace.
Sam Immanuel said, “Abilities are equally given, opportunities are not.” How true! The only true solution to our predicament AS Nigerians is to educate Nigeria and not some parts of Nigeria. This means pulling everyone along, educating everyone, creating a nationwide awareness for the need to be educated properly.
No one knows where the innovative idea for the solution of a challenge will come from. So everyone should be given the opportunity, as much as is possible.
This truth was rephrased by the Chief Transformation Officer, MTN and Convener, Data Science Nigeria, Bayo Adekanmbi.
Lecturing the audience on the swift strides of technology, he revealed that traditional education was insufficient and innovative methods of education have to be embraced for relevance to be maintained, and this embracing has to be done by all of Nigeria, for the technological growth we dream of to be achieved.
In conclusion, inclusive education has to be applied and practised deliberately.
Every tribe, religion and gender has to be carried along. Everyone has to play a part in the search for solutions to our challenges.
If the idea called Nigeria will grow into a reality of success, all hands must be on deck. For all hands to be on deck, opportunity must be made available to all.