Teach For Nigeria is a non-profit organization that is focused on enlisting Nigeria’s most promising future leaders in the effort to expand educational and life opportunities for all children in Nigeria.
The initiative is part of the global Teach For All network of over 50 independent partners, working to increase and accelerate the impact of social enterprises that are cultivating the leadership necessary to ensure that “One day, all children will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education.”
Saturday, 22nd of August marked the graduation ceremony of the second cohort of its two -year Fellowship Program.
These set of 161 fellows, the largest and most diverse cohort so far, will join the Teach For Nigeria’s existing alumni network thereby bringing the number of Alumni to 205.
Inducted in 2018, this set of graduating fellows impacted approximately 9,660 students in 80 schools across Lagos, Ogun, and Kaduna states.
The past two years were spent improving the academic outcomes of students while igniting the love for learning, instilling self-belief and successfully galvanizing parental and community support to aid in the learning process of their students.
Amidst the coronavirus outbreak and school closure, the fellows continued to identify and adopt innovative ways and solutions to ensure that their pupils were not excluded from continued learning.
One of the fellows, Rejoyce Samuel leveraged the use of work packets to ensure that children in her school community continued to learn despite the pandemic while Temitope Ifegbesan and Gideon Ogunfeyinmi launched a project that addresses the parents’ financial inability to cater for their children’s education, feeding and health needs.
These Fellows were able to empower mothers in low-income communities.
Former President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, gave the commencement speech at the graduation ceremony. In his address, he said “I commend the work the fellows are doing, especially during this pandemic, to ensure that children who lack access to online technologies currently being adopted by private schools can learn during this period. These, along with many other accomplishments achieved by the fellows during the fellowship programme have shown us that youth leadership coupled with innovation, cooperation and collaboration can indeed be a panacea to the ills in our educational sector and a key to unlocking the full potential of our teeming youth and, by extension, the great potential of our dear country, Nigeria.”
The Board Chairman, Teach For Nigeria, Gbenga Oyebode, said in his opening remarks “I salute the fellows and recognize the efforts that they put in to make their 2 years fellowship impactful, working to ensure that education continues despite the COVID-19 pandemic and in communities that lacked basic amenities. They have gone over and beyond to be not just teachers, but also mentors and role models to the children they served. I celebrate the graduating fellows and believe that they will continue to serve as change agents that will continue to champion the movement towards educational equity for all”.
Also speaking at the ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer, Teach For Nigeria, Folawe Omikunle, said: “The great successes and achievements recorded by this set of Fellows has further entrenched our belief in the power of collective efforts in solving problems. In only two years of the Fellowship we have seen Fellows teach children under some extremely challenging conditions, yet they have been dogged, innovative and resourceful. This set of Fellows were resolved and committed to changing the narrative not just one classroom at a time but a child at a time.”
The Teach For Nigeria Fellowship is a two year full-time paid commitment, designed to build a movement of leaders across the nation who will work towards eliminating educational inequity in Nigeria by teaching in underserved schools in low-income communities.
From the pilot fellowship program in 2017 where approximately 2700 students were reached, Teach For Nigeria has scaled to provide access to education for approximately 10,000 students in marginalized communities in Lagos, Ogun and Kaduna states.
Teach For Nigeria will continue to work towards its goal of ensuring that about 500 Fellows are placed to serve over 30,000 of Nigeria’s most impoverished students by 2021.