To address the concern of education for children living in slums, Youth Advocate for Change through its Slum to Classroom Initiative is providing free literacy programme and life skills support for about 60 children between the ages of four and 15 years.
According to the Team Lead of Youth Advocate for Change, Adeola Ogunlade, Slum-to-Classroom started in October 2014 with about 25 students.
The intervention was put to a halt because of the pandemic last year, but in November 2020, the initiatives kick started with 15 children and grew to 62 within three weeks upon resumption.
He said through this initiative out of school children and youths living in the slums are getting back to the classroom.
“We teach Mathematics, English and basic science. We are also incorporating hands-on skills programmes,” Ogunlade.
Ogunlade, who is a development journalist with one of the national newspaper, explained that the initiative was birthed when he visited Makoko community and did a story about one Mr Jerrand Alvessi, a fashion designer, who teaches youths how to sew and in the evening teaches them how to read and write in Egun Language.
He posited that one of the apprentices in the centre begged him that they want to learn how to read and write in English language, and that the request prompted him to bring in an English teacher to teach the students and since, it’s been an impactful journey working in the slum.
He pointed that some of these children benefiting from the progamme are orphans, living in substandard housing that is poorly serviced and/or overcrowded, and therefore unhealthy, unsafe, and socially undesirable.
“They come in three times in a week between the hours of 4pm and 6pm to the waiting hands of enthusiastic teachers,” he added.
He noted that the venue used is KHAN Foundation School, a school owned by Mr. Otega and was magnanimously given to support the initiative.
Four teachers are presently been engaged at the Makoko-based initiative. The teachers are excited, motivated, patience and are selfless as they teach the children.
He cited the words of the Lead Teacher, Paul Iyanu Jawu, Lagos, that he sees this initiative as a missionary effort to salvage today’s children in Makoko.
“I am willing to sacrifice a lot and my resources to keep the vision going and l want to appeal for more support from well-meaning Nigerians.
“The teachers, whom among them are graduate, undergraduates are been paid allowances because of their resolved to make a difference in the community,” Ogunlade said.