United Nations Information Center Dialogue on Achieving SDG4 Holds in Lagos
Director of Hunam Resources at One African Child Foundation, Ms. Oluwadamilola Akinbowale at the UNIC event held in Lagos.
The dialogue brought together NGOs, Private Sector Group, companies, Government and education officers.
The Director of the center, Mr. Ronald Kayanja welcomed the participants and mentioned that Quality Education is quite critical to the success of the SDGs. Education is central to the achievement of the SDGs and we still have a long way to go. Education for all is a duty for all.
Cross-section of participants at the event which was held in Lagos on June 29, 2018
I represented OneAfricanChild Foundation for Creative Learning and gave a goodwill message on behalf of the organization. I also shared with them what we do at OAC and told them about our ESD Teacher’s Training program. I raised a question on how education can be inclusive, identifying the different learning styles of children in one classroom. Mrs. Mories Atoki replied that first, the ratio of teachers to students has to be corrected because it will be difficult and frustrating for a teacher to meet the needs of every child in a classroom of 1 teacher to 200.
Mrs. Mories Atoki, Senior Manager Sustainability and Climate Change, PWC, addressed the importance of the need to identify what our problems are as Nigerians and what the problems mean before we solve them. In the Nigerian education system, only the toughest survive. There is a waste of minds in Nigeria e.g. nerds or graduates who are really brilliant in their field of study end up working in banks etc. where they could be building helicopters or coming up with innovations. Education system needs to identify potentials and provide opportunities to use such potentials. She said we also need to take away education that is not academic and include social and emotional education.
Mr. David Ukagu, Head of the Department for International Development (DFID), Lagos and South West Regional Coordinator, gave a presentation on some research done by the DFID and the projects carried out by them. He highlighted that in terms of education, Nigeria is the 4th lowest of 41 Sub Saharan countries. Nigeria spends only 1.7% of GDP on education which is below SSA average of 4.7%. Research was carried out in the Northern states which highlighted education problems in that region such as very poor literacy and numeracy skills of students, unqualified teachers, unstable systems of education etc.
The DFID has embarked on several intervention projects to fix some educational problems. There is an urgency to revitalize the education system in Nigeria.
Some Possible Solutions
During the intervention and the discussion session, these were some of the solutions were proffered:
· Learning should be intellectual, social, emotional and spiritual.
· Engage the government. Hold a communique and question them for making promises that they have not fulfilled. Pressurize them until they give answers and do something.
· Learning systems should change e.g. the system should not only have Science, Commercial and Arts division in secondary schools at this age of technology.
· The Private sector is important and should go beyond their CSR. Educational interventions should be included in CSR.
· NGOs should pull themselves together, clearly articulate needs, demands, problems and create a force. They should ensure that the government is aware of these needs.
· Include the challenged in educational plans.
· NGOs should be clear, specialize and understand their space to address issues.