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Education: Teach for Nigeria urges continued support from govt, stakeholders to transform sector

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Teach For Nigeria

Teach for Nigeria, a non-profit organization focused on expanding educational and life opportunities for low-income children has joined the rest of the world to mark the 4th International Day of Education.

Since 2017, the organization has been focused on providing quality education to all children regardless of their backgrounds.

Teach For Nigeria

Folawe Omikunle, CEO, Teach For Nigeria

To commemorate this year’s International Day of Education, Teach For Nigeria organised a week-long stakeholder’s engagement to sensitise stakeholders on their role in transforming the foundational education system.

These meetings also provided the opportunity to deepen relationships with critical stakeholders and secure partnerships towards achieving educational equity.

The engagement concluded with a closing ceremony in Ogun State and had in attendance school leaders from public schools, government officials, parents, religious leaders, Teach For Nigeria fellows and students.

In a keynote speech, Folawe Omikunle, the CEO, Teach For Nigeria, reiterated the organization’s commitment to attaining an excellent education for all children in Nigeria. She said that transforming education in service to all children regardless of their economic status requires an urgent need to work more collaboratively with stakeholders to achieve a transformed and equitable education for all children. She noted that while progress had been made there is still room to improve the situation for millions of children who had limited or no access to quality education.

Also speaking at the event, Professor Abayomi Arigbabu, the commissioner of education in Ogun State, represented by Mrs. Ronke Soyombo, the special adviser to the governor on primary and secondary education, said “The fellowship programme of Teach for Nigeria has attracted numerous achievements in the state’s education that cannot be undervalued.  The active participation of the Fellows in Ogun Digi class, a digital class on TV for students, added colours to the State government initiative. She praised the organization for the continuous training and retraining capacity of Fellows’ development since 2017. She ended her speech by encouraging the Fellows to keep up with the spirit of leading and impacting.”

Mr. Olu-Ola Aikulola, permanent secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, also commented on how Teach For Nigeria is raising a crop of young leaders who are gifts to under-served communities in Ogun State. While recounting the numerous achievements some of the Fellows are making through their schools and community, he urged the zonal education officers, SUBEB field officials and teachers to continue to work in a deeper partnership with the Fellows and Alumni of Teach For Nigeria.

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Charles Bernard, a 2020 Teach For Nigeria Fellow, recounted his experience to highlight the importance of partnership. Charles noted that at the school he was posted to serve, only 5% of his pupils at a public primary school in Ilaro could read.

Working with Ifeoluwa Olubodun, another fellow, they introduced a literacy drill program to improve the reading and writing skills for affected children and now, the initial reading and writing skills has grown to 62%.

He also discovered that some children had eye problems which led to a partnership with an optical firm to provide eye-care intervention to more than 200 pupils and aged members in the community.

Highlighting education as the bedrock of every nation, Folawe noted that accelerating impact for a transformed education system that will serve all children equitably would require more dynamic leaders like Bernard.

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Leaders working in deep partnership with students, teachers, parents and community members will drive positive learning outcomes for children and provide opportunities to help them fulfil their potential.

Folawe sought Ogun state’s support to deepen its partnership with Teach for Nigeria to place fellows in under-resourced schools.

This year’s International Day of Education, which marked the fourth since it was proclaimed in 2018 by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), highlighted the need for a new way forward in transforming the education sector.

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