Nigerian GYAs discuss improving education with Ogun State government
Up for School or #upforschool campaign
This is a report of the national delegation of A World at School Global Youth Ambassadors’ visit to the Government of Ogun State, Nigeria, July 2015
The group of GYAs with Ogun State Deputy Governor Yetunde Onanuga
There is a global crisis in the education sector. Over 59 million children are lacking basic education; almost half of these children are in sub-Saharan Africa and a quarter of them are in Southern Asia. If conscientious actions are not consistently taken, many of them may never enter the classroom.
Lack of access to quality education and learning may expose these young people to unemployment, civil unrest, poor standard of living and deprive them the benefits of meaningful civic participation, innovative reduction of poverty, contribution to improved health care, promotion of gender equality, peace, justice, global partnership, integrated cultural awareness and increased education opportunities for their children.
With about 10.5 million children in Nigeria out of school, Nigeria has the highest number of her young people out-of-school. While some states in Nigeria – including Ogun State – currently implement free basic education policies, there are concerns on the quality of education and learning experienced by the students. In some parts of Nigeria, the pupil-per-trained teacher ratio is at least 150:1 in the most disadvantaged 25% of schools.
While access to education has been improving globally, there has been little progress in reducing the rate at which children leave school before reaching the last grade of primary education. Also a recent study estimates that over 37 million children in schools in Africa are not learning and may not be.
There is the need for all hands to be on deck, in ensuring commitment of government and all education stakeholders towards improving the quality of education in Nigeria, Africa and the world at large. As part of advocacy efforts to improve the quality of education, a team of A World at School Global Youth Ambassadors in Nigeria and local education partners visited the Government of Ogun State, to discuss the education solution.
Damola presents the Youth Recommendation on Education to the Deputy Governor
The national delegation of Global Youth Ambassadors was welcomed to Ogun State by the State Deputy Governor, Chief (Mrs) Yetunde Onanuga on Wednesday, July 8, 2015. The meeting was held at the Deputy Governor’s office in Abeokuta, Ogun state.
The delegation led by Damola Morenikeji (Executive Director of All for Development and Global Youth Ambassador) had in attendance:
- Joy Tiku Enighe (GYA from FCT Abuja and CEO, Youth Power Initiative),
- Purpose Osa Iserhienrhien (GYA from Edo State and Member, World Coordinating Team, World Without War and Violence),
- Adebukola Orenuga (GYA from Lagos State and Executive Secretary, Association of Private Educators in Nigeria),
- Daniel Nwaeze (GYA from Lagos State)
- Temidayo Musa (GYA from Osun State and Director of Advocacy, Organisation of African Youth for Development and Peace).
Partners present at the meeting included Ayodele David Salt (Team Leader, i-Speak Nigeria), Alli Olajumoke (Executive Coordinator, Grow the Child Network) and Adenike Adewuni (representing All for Development).
Highlights of the meeting, aimed at reigniting the commitment of government to education, were the advocacy for improved commitment to getting children back in school and learning, the #UpForSchool Petition and the presentation of the Youth Recommendation on Education which provides strategies for improving the state of education through collective (and individual) responsibilities, and reinforcing the need for increased safety of schools for learning.
Damola addresses Deputy Governor Yetunde Onanuga at the meeting
THE #UPFORSCHOOL PETITION
A universal petition that brings together everyone globally who shares the belief that every child has the right to go to school, without danger and without discrimination.
World leaders made a promise at the United Nations in September 2000 that by the year 2015 every child would be in school and learning. With 2015 gradually winding to an end, we still have millions of children out of school. Unless we bring continually bring the attention of all stakeholders to this, revert current trends and accelerate our efforts, we may not even achieve universal primary education before 2086.
The Ogun State Deputy Governor, Yetunde Onanuga, joined a host of others in showing her public support for education by signing the #UpForSchool Petition.
With young education leaders driving the campaign, the petition is being backed by a coalition of more than 100 businesses, faith leaders, NGOs, teachers and influential individuals with the aim of making it the biggest petition in history. So far, we have gathered about 8 million signatures from around the world. The petition will be delivered to world leaders, as they gather at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015.
The GYAs listen intently to the discussion on education
YOUTH RECOMMENDATION ON EDUCATION
The 30-point Youth Recommendation on Education (Appendix 1) was presented to the State Government. The Youth Recommendation is a document containing recommendations proposed at the Youth Roundtable on Education held in Abeokuta, Nigeria in June 2014. An appendix attached to the Youth Recommendation is the Safe Schools Initiative report (Appendix 2), published at the World Economic Forum in Abuja, Nigeria in May 2014.
It was resolved that the Government should study and implement the Youth Recommendation on Education, for the purpose of improving the quality of education in the state, and the country at large. The Deputy Governor reinstated the commitment of the Ogun State government in providing free and quality education for all children in the state, promising that the percentage of educated young people in the state will increase astronomically by the end of the year 2015 and in subsequent years.
According to her, “government is committed to fishing out ‘out-of-school’ children and showing them the way to school”. She informed that the government is almost concluding the construction of Model schools in various parts of the state, to ensure that student are exposed to the right resources and environment for learning.
She thereafter sought the support of young people, the private and social sectors to collaborate with the government in achieving improved quality of education in the country.
This report is compiled by All for Development in partnership with A World at School Global Youth Ambassadors.