By Amaka Abayomi
TEACH For All, a global network of social enterprise working to expand educational opportunities around the world, has been officially launched in Nigeria, making her the 42nd country to adopt the programme.
Teach For Nigeria, TFN, is a partner of Teach For All, a global network of 42 independent NGOs around the world, including Teach For China, Teach For Ghana, Teach For India, and Teach First UK, whose partnership is based around the concept of global-local practice. TFN has locally adapted this model of identifying Nigeria’s most outstanding graduates and young professionals into a two year Fellowship, to serve as full-time teachers in her under-served schools.
Speaking at the launch, the Chief Executive Officer, TFN, Folawe Omikunle, said TFN’s mission is to address the issue of educational inequity and improve educational opportunities all by attracting more of the most competent young graduates to incite a love of learning in the children who most need it along with the belief that they are capable of realizing their dreams.
She said “Our education system is in crisis as, according to UNESCO, 12% of the global needs for teachers exist in Nigeria, the highest in the world. Also, Nigeria accounts for the largest number of out of school children in the world.
“Educational inequity is very real for us in Nigeria as we are confronted with huge inequity issues ranging from different degrees between rich and poor, urban and rural, male and female and across states and religions.
“TFN will focus on developing a movement of leaders who are committed to putting an end to educational inequity by recruiting, training and supporting outstanding individuals to committing to teaching for a minimum of two years in underserved schools, and becoming leaders in the effort to increasing educational opportunity throughout Nigeria.”
Through a two year Fellowship, TFN will recruit Nigeria’s best and brightest graduates and young professionals of all academic disciplines to teach as full time teachers in underserved schools in poor communities. Through this experience, the Fellows gain exposure to the realities of Nigeria’s education system and begin to identify their role in building a wider movement for educational equity.
TFN is in the start-up phase and will be launching with its first set of 60 Fellows in Lagos and Ogun state in September 2017 with plans to expand reach to the Northern region in its second year with an addition of 72 Fellows. By its 10th year of operation, TFN aims to expand to cover all 6 regions of Nigeria and reach out to about 400,000 primary school children.