By Elizabeth Osayande
The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo(SAN), has launched the ambitious World Education Week – a six-day online global education showcase with over 85,000 registered online attendees in 146 countries – with a rallying cry supporting education’s key position as the foundation for bringing countries out of poverty.
In his speech, Professor Osinbajo stated that: “I commend all the organisers and partners of the World Education Week forum; the schools and teachers worldwide, exchanging innovative ideas on how to solve our global educational challenges.
“This forum will strengthen the efforts of governments to catalyse the collective attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.
“We cannot talk about delivering quality education in today’s world without rethinking our models and leveraging on technology; and rethinking our education curricula to give students the relevant knowledge and skills to make them active contributors in today’s economy.”
Osinbajo noted that quality of education is key since it is a predictor of a nation’s gross domestic product, GDP, arguing that poor education policies and practices lose economic output, threatening to create a permanent state of economic backwardness.
Increasing education and skills can boost a lower-income country’s GDP by 28% over the next eight years.
As a result of that challenge, he added: “The Nigerian government has made huge investments in education to achieve equitable education.
“We are meeting the challenges of decreasing number of out-of-school children; infrastructure inadequacies; teacher shortages; and leveraging on technology and digital learning.
“If we resolve the education challenge, we will be on the right path to solving our poverty challenge.”
In supporting the federal government to achieve its goals, Teach for Nigeria announced the launch of its ambitious “10 by 10 SDG 4 Pledge” as an expression of its intention to scale its work to ensure that it delivers on its vision to achieve education equity.
This pledge means that over the next 10 years, Teach for Nigeria will work with select stakeholders to improve the learning outcomes of 10,000,000 children in schools across Nigeria.
This will be done by attracting high potential candidates to partake in training programmes and thereafter place them in schools as teachers and school leaders.
Speaking on this announcement during her keynote address, CEO, Teach for Nigeria, Folawe Omikunle, said: “The challenge we face requires unity.
“All stakeholders need to support government efforts to ensure that we lift our country out of poverty.
“At a steady state, over the next 10 years, we will reach 500,000 children, but in order to meet the SDGs, we take this 10 by 10 Pledge to stretch ourselves so that we double our capacity and efforts to contribute to this goal.
“The 10 by 10 Pledge is a moral pledge that requires those that sign it to come together on a regular basis to share and support the work of each other to achieve the potential of our country.”
Also commenting, Gbenga Oyebode, the Chairman Board of Directors, Teach For Nigeria said: “The success of our society begins with the education of our young people and this needs to happen for all children in Nigeria.
“This is why Teach For Nigeria is very much about strengthening the public education system in Nigeria through developing a movement of leaders across the nation who are committed to putting an end to educational inequity.”