UNESCO Eyes Nigeria for Sustainable Development Goal 4 Campaign

The Hope -Jon International School located in Karu in the Nasarawa State has been selected as the first institute by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) for the campaign of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG4) in Nigeria. The concept of the campaign is “Education Solution, Education First Initiative-Embracing SDG-4.’’

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The SDG is set of target adopted by the nations to eradicate poverty, prosperity for all and to secure the planet. These goals were adopted dated 25th September 2015 and every set purpose has the particular aim which is supposed to obtain in coming 15 years.

The Concern

Many are in the opinion that the SDG4 campaign will boost the efforts to enhance the education facilities and quality in Nigeria. Despite of measures were undertaken by the government, 10.4 million Nigerian children are still out of schools. World has total 57 million children who are out of school. And from the figure it’s evident that Nigeria has reason to worry.

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Educationalists fear that this might result in the widening of the gap of accessing education between the rich and poor peoples in the Nigerian society. Lack of education will lead to unemployment. And this might disrupt the socio-economic balance of Nigeria.

But how will this 10.4 million children will receive education? Does Nigeria have a sufficient number of schools to accommodate huge number of students? There are several other questions that might give administrators sleepless night. Most of the schools in Nigeria have been overfull with students. Besides, there is lack of modern education facilities including an insufficient number of trained teachers.

The Way Out

Nigerian Government has to take steps for building new schools. And just constructing schools should not be the only thing. This time, schools should be availed with all the modern facilities, technologies, computer systems and others.

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To initiate this programme, the government should collaborate with all the stakeholders of the education system in the country. And if required the should opt for public-private partnership model to fund the programme.

Poverty is one major reason that force families to send their children to earn money rather than earning knowledge in the classroom. The government should ensure that families send their children to school for their future.

Though many families might claim if their child will not earn than how their family would run. For such families government should initiate the online education programme. Here, the children will be provided with device and internet access and this would be restricted to learning purpose only.

SDG4 in Nigeria

Director of Professional Education at UNESCO Centre for Global Education (UNESCOCFORGE), UK, Mrs Caroline Oseghale said, “It is a project of UNESCOCFORGE and Pan-African Youth Parliament (IPAYP).We chose the school to kick off the campaign; we are creating awareness; this is the first school we are having this in Nigeria. We are going to do a lot of advocacy to make sure other schools follow.”

According to Education Solution’s Campaign Director Obinna Sixtus, SDG placed high premium on quality and free education for boys and girls. He further added, “We suggest that culture should be in our education curriculum; it is culture that will bind us together not politics.”

The Opportunity

The SDG4 is designed to drive the system to achieve the real purpose. With support coming from different channels, the government should capitalise the assistance. This possibly is the best scope when Nigerian administrators can seek collaboration for digitisation and enhancement of education in the country. Besides, the school selected for the SDG4 Campaign should also come to forefront assisting the government to formulate the design where students will engage in real learning.

What do you think? Share your own opinions and thoughts with us by commenting below. We would love to hear from you.

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Why Africa Must Focus On Mobile Learning To Improve Education

Education is increasingly becoming more stressful and challenging for the students, educators and administrators. This issue is more strongly felt across Africa than in any other part of the world. More than 10 million kids in sub-Saharan Africa drop out of their primary schools each year. Even if they are able to finish primary school education, the children tend to possess literacy and numeracy skills much less than the expected levels.

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Need for improving education

Currently, there is a significant deficit of skilled, motivated and trained educators in Africa. Experts believe that in order to make sure that by 2015 every African child can access quality education, sub-Saharan Africa must recruit almost 350,000 teachers each year. However, it seems rather implausible that it would actually happen. Steve Vosloo, mobile learning specialist at UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and founder of the Yoza Cellphone Stories project, recently wrote in a BBC article “In the last decade many African countries have, against these significant odds, made solid progress in improving their education levels. However, the challenges are often too large. The “usual” tried and tested methods of delivering education are not enough.”

Mobile learning is the key

But there is a probable solution. Although education is struggling to deal with the social, political and economic challenges, mobile communication has spread like wildfire across the continent. Currently, Africa is the most rapidly expanding and second biggest mobile phone market worldwide. While in many nations like Namibia, Gabon and Botswana, the number of mobile subscriptions is higher than inhabitants, the continent is still one of the lowest mobile penetration among any market. But experts believe that we can expect a lot of growth in the coming years. With more than 620 million mobile subscriptions across Africa, we can certainly infer that the people of the continent are connected, perhaps for the first time in the history.

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Vosloo wrote “These connections offer an opportunity for education. Already, we are starting to see the beginnings of change. An increasing number of initiatives, some large-scale, some small, are using mobile technologies to distribute educational materials, support reading, and enable peer-to-peer learning and remote tutoring through social networking services.” Mobile networks and connections are integrating education administration and enhancing communication among students, parents and schools. He added “Mobile learning, either alone or in combination with existing education approaches, is supporting and extending education in ways not possible before. ”

Improving accessibility

Today, millions of African learners are carrying out their regular studies, including reading and writing, through their smartphones either via online forums & chats, social networks, instant messaging or even through SMS. Mobiles phones are now also utilised to access long-term reading materials.

Steve Vosloo added “Projects such as Yoza Cellphone Stories, which offers downloads of stories and novels, has shown impressive uptake amongst young African readers who enjoy mobile novels or ‘m-novels’. On Yoza, users not only read stories but comment and vote on them. In its first 18 months, Yoza had 470,000 complete reads of its stories and poems, as well as 47,000 user comments. ”

The bottom line

Presently, mobiles have become one of the most effective channels for distributing content and reading materials in a fast, easily accessible and affordable way. As the need for education revolution becomes stronger in Africa, mobile learning can actually offer some effective solutions not just to educators and students, but also to schools.

What do you think? Feel free to share your opinions with us by commenting here.

Article source – bbc.in/1LA6CyF

Nigeria Has The Highest Number Of Out of School Children, Says UN

                                   

There is no doubt that education is one of the basic pillars of economic and national development. It is only by providing accessible and abundant learning opportunities that a nation can empower its communities to develop and prosper. However, currently the Nigerian education sector is suffering to a great extent primarily due to unstable governments, political disturbances, corruption and limited financial support. Hence, numerous academic experts and stakeholders opine that the academic sector will face further problems in case the current scenario continues.

Poor Education Practices

According to a new report published by UNESCO, Nigeria, along with Ethiopia, Pakistan and Chad are among the nations which are drastically off target for the 6 key academic goals which 164 nations agreed to accomplish 2000 and 2015. The study, which was launched in Santiago de Chile, New Delhi, New York and Paris, revealed that Nigeria is among the worst education systems in the world due to poor investment, conflict and corruption. Moreover, it also has the highest number of kids out of school.

Back in 2000, around 164 nations had agreed to attempt to accomplish the 6 key educational goals in the coming 15 years, objectives which enhanced the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) that were also being set. These 6 goals included getting all children enrolled in primary schools, reducing adult illiteracy and making sure that all girls had equivalent access to education. The UNESCO report stated that around 50 per cent of the countries had more or less failed to get all kids enrolled in primary schools, 75 per cent nations were unable to reduce illiteracy significantly, and over half of the countries could not eradicate gender disparities at school.

Achieving Academic Goals

Where Nigeria, Ethiopia, Niger, Pakistan and Chad were identified as the ones way off target in achieving the 6 key goals, countries like India, Tanzania, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Nepal and Afghanistan were praised for their successful efforts. Getachew Engida, Deputy Director General at UNESCO, said “Personally I feel countries that committed themselves haven’t delivered and they should, and we need to keep reminding them of that,” while launching the EFA (Education for All) Global Monitoring report. Engida added “There is no other alternative than simply saying ‘Please commit yourself and once you’ve committed, deliver’. We continue to pass on that message but we haven’t been fully successful.”

In the last few years several countries have substantially boosted investment in education. More than 38 nations increased academic spending by 1 per cent or more of the national income between the years 1999 and 2012. However, the fact remains that education is often not identified as a priority in several national budgets; while countries with low income relying on overseas aid for development to support academic programmes, according to the report.

After the goals were finalised, in the first 10 years foreign education aid increased to $13.9 billion in 2010, but unfortunately came to a halt due to the global financial crisis. Then it decreased to $12.6 billion in the past 2 years, said UN Officials.

The Bottom Line

At present, Nigeria needs to take all the necessary steps to ensure that is academic system is improved significantly so that Nigerian children can get the education they deserve and build their future.

What do you think about education in Nigeria? Share your views and opinions with us by commenting below.

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