By Dayo Adesulu
The advocacy for education development in Nigeria has received a boost as leader in the provision of low fee education through cutting edge technology in underserved communities,Bridge International Academies and other education stakeholders gathered to address the challenges of education and the role of government and private sector in delivering education and enhancing the teaching and learning methods.
The School Leaders Convention, a forum for educators to understand the current realities in education; evaluate practice, reflect and strategize on school development, had in attendance Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Education, Mr. Obafela Bank-Olemoh;Vice-President, Policy and Partnership, Bridge International Academies, Mrs. Adesuwa Ifedi; Principal Consultant/CEO, Leading Learning Limited, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo; Director-General of Education Quality Assurance, Lagos State, Mrs. Ronke Soyombo amongst others.
While addressing the challenges of education in Africa, Vice- President, Policy and Partnerships at Bridge, Mrs. Adesuwa Ifedi stated that the greatest perpetrator to modern-day slavery is poverty, and education stops the trajectory of poverty. “Achieving universal education would help lift 420 million people out of poverty and the future of Africa depends on access to scalable quality education,” she stressed.
According to Ifedi, education in Africa will significantly impact the world. “Education and work in Sub-Saharan Africa will determine the livelihoods of nearly a billion people in the region and drive growth and development in generations to come.” She added that the solution to Africa’s education has to be scalable in order to address the problem awaiting the continent in 2050 as revealed by UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs World population prospect 2012 report that Africa will have the fastest growing workforce and school age children by 2050. And Nigeria, being the most populous nation will contribute significantly to the number, hence, the need to build a nation with an educated and skilled workforce that is stable, prosperous and competitive.
Consequently, Ifedi said technology is the game changer in scalable quality education delivery. “Technology can be used to address inefficiencies in education management and the learning outcomes required in today’s workforce and used to support teachers to accelerate teaching and learning at scale to reach many more children,” she said.
Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Education, Mr. Obafela Bank-Olemoh said the future of education requires private sector involvement in addressing education issues at scale. He said with strategic partnerships, the government is working towards positioning Lagos for a technology-driven future and preparing a workforce with the skillset that will drive the future of Lagos and meet industry standards.
Bank-Olemoh said the government has invested N15 billion in building school infrastructure to ensure that students learn in a conducive environment and is committed to creating more opportunities for students through the ongoing CodeLagos™, ReadySetWork™, LagosRead™ projects as well as reduce the teacher to student ratio in the classrooms.
The convener, Mrs. Uwaye Soetan said that the 2018 edition of the convention seeks to address the challenges of education and the role for government and private sector in delivering education of the future and enhancing the teaching and learning methods. “Once we understand the dynamics of the challenges and link up with the right network, we are halfway through overcoming the problems,” she said.