The Future of School and Education in Africa and the Role we are PlayingWith the global COVID-19 pandemic causing unprecedented challenges and disruption, no one can say for sure how long the crisis will last, or what we will find on the other side. We do know that the education community won’t be returning to the “old” normal. The future of school may be dearly uncertain but what is certain is that the future of school can no longer be caged by the four walls of classrooms. The big question is if Africa is ready for the all-important new normal. From the technology revolution to teachers’ training and students’ adaptability, a lot seems to be missing. As an organization, what role can we play? As a host organization for World’s Largest Lesson in Nigeria, we have designed and currently implementing some intervention initiatives. We know that teachers remain crucial if anything will go well but teachers who cannot fit into the “new normal” may be out of a job or seizes to make an impact. This is why we created the Teachers Upgrade Online Training. This Teachers Upgrade Online Training is built to support teachers’ ability to scale up their skills and expertise while advancing their career opportunities in the post covid19 era. With over 900 participating teachers, the 5 weeks virtual training has revealed, sadly, terrific technology skill gaps in Nigeria’s teaching workforce with just about 5% of the entire participating teachers having elementary tech knowledge to aid teaching activities. The objectives of the training as designed include; To address the huge technological deficit currently on display within the teaching workforce and bring them up to date with the global teaching standard. To help teachers to transition smoothly to the use of digital skills and other innovative skills which have proven effective in addressing education deficit in such a time like this. To help teachers in acquiring skills that are needed in raising younger generations who are better positioned in using education to solve social problems. Our intervention can be said to be timely and pragmatic in nature. Our tailored training will introduce and build the teachers’ capacities around,
1. Teaching and technology: The link between technology and learning. Introduction to digital/virtual teaching delivery, Digital classroom setup, and management.
2. 21st Century Skills for impactful learning: developing well-rounded teachers that are relevant for the future of work in the Education sector.
3. Employability Skills: Teaching career readiness and inculcating these skills at an early stage of learning.
4. Community- Based Learning: Connecting students’ immediate environment with classroom learning for improved knowledge.
5. Digital Club setup and management/Club learning ideas challenge.
Teachers with the best learning performance will win laptops and other teaching aids as part of our contribution to building their capacities to align with global realities and trends. Key outcomes expected to be sustained from the training include; An improved standard in education and learning in schools decline in the deficit in technology use in education and learning in Nigeria. Huge investment in digital skills training across the nation for teachers increase in the use of digital learning tools in teaching and learning in classroom education.
Breaking the Culture!!!!
It’s been an overwhelming month with the prevalent cases of rape and the gruesome murder of some of the victims. There have been protests both online and offline as people lend out their voices to condemn the increased number of rape of young girls and children which has become a societal norm. Many gender activists have called on the government to prescribe capital punishments for rapists and to speed up the court processes for cases that are ongoing as this will show commitment by the government to punish perpetrators’. Our organization DEAN Initiative carried out a 2 weeks online campaign using dedicated hashtags to speak against this heinous crime which is gradually becoming the new norm in our society. We also engaged our volunteers to take action in speaking against this act in their community and on their social media handles. We were emphatic that this new trend won’t be accommodated in our society and as an organization, we are committed to collaborating with other civil society organizations to do all we can to ensure that women, girls, and children feel safe in our communities.
So we encourage you to take a stand with us as we #StandAgainstRape and all other forms of violence.#EndRape
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a 17 super formula to solve the world’s worst problems. Agreed upon in 2015 at the United Nations General Assembly by member states, the 17 goals set to be achieved by 2030. The SDGs took over from their predecessor; the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which ended in 2015. The failures recorded with the MDGs formed the take-off lessons for the SDGs. One of the major MDG failures is the fact that the success of the goals was not experienced equally across the globe; this in itself is a major defeat. Consider a few of these statistics from different countries concerning the same MDGs.
Extreme Poverty 50 Percent Reduction Rate:
- Southeastern Asia exceeded the goal for extreme poverty reduction by 16 percent
- Southern Asia exceeded the goal by 12.5 percent
- Northern Africa scraped by at about 1.2 percent
- Sub-Saharan Africa was by far the most behind. It did not even meet the goal for extreme poverty reduction and was 12.5 percent away from doing so.
These obvious gaps and shortcomings of the MDG also reflected in the “donor-recipient” relationship whereas the SDG favours a collective action by all countries which is built on the principles agreed upon in Resolution A/RES/66/288, entitled “The future we want”. With a total of 169 targets and 232 approved indicators, the SDGs was adapted to measure compliance. This universal agenda is a call to action for low, middle and high-income countries alike. It lays out a set of comprehensive goals that focus on people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership for 15 years. It integrates the vision of “leaving no one behind” which can likely be accomplished through expanded partnerships for both traditional and non-traditional actors such as Governments, Civil Society, private sector, and the United Nations system. Looking at the past achievements we can see that during the last 5years the fulfillments of the goals are indeed taking a slow turn. With the urgency of achieving the set goals the Decade of Action has been set up so as to achieve the goals with accurate timing and perfect results but with what is happening now in the world indeed our eyes have been open to see that the goals thought to have been achieved were not really achieved.
Progress of the SDG has further slowed down due to the present coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19) that is ravaging the entire world. Prior to the pandemic, there has been a huge momentum around action mobilization across the world. Climate change has continued to threaten all of us with less commitment across the globe by world leaders to lead with precise actions. Africa is still struggling to mark her place with the hope of meeting the marks on the dashboard. Generally there has been a slow progress in the implementation of the goals. The way we see the world in the next 10 years is a perfect world free from insecurities, crime, hunger, poverty, inequalities among a few. The UN secretary general Antonio Guterres in September 2019 called on all sectors of society to mobilize for a decade of action on three levels: global action to secure greater leadership, more resources and smarter solutions for the Sustainable Development Goals; local action embedding the needed transitions in the policies, budgets, institutions and regulatory frameworks of governments, cities and local authorities; and people action, including by youth, civil society, the media, the private sector, unions, academia and other stakeholders, to generate an unstoppable movement pushing for the required transformations.
The Decade of Action is set to:
- Mobilize everyone, everywhere
- Demand urgency and ambition
- Supercharge ideas to solutions
Why we are hopeful
The drive of human passion has demonstrated our shared ability to deliver the ordinary in an extraordinary way. The 2030 Agenda is our roadmap for the world we all want to see and be part of. The Global Goals are our best hope—for people, for planet, for prosperity, for peace and for partnerships. It’s time we work together to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals.
Eniola Dorcas Morkikan
Communications Intern at the Global Goals Community Center; Abuja Nigeria
Teachers Urged to inculcate virtual, digital learning skills
With the coronavirus Pandemic ravaging the world and its negative impact its having in the world, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, recently revealed that over 35 million children are not in school, specifically children in public schools at the primary and secondary level.
In a communique issued by DEAN Initiative recently addressed the negative impact the coronavirus pandemic is having on both teachers and students in Nigeria.
The virtual town hall meeting which had in attendance, Mr. Semiye Michael, Country Director World Largest Lesson and Executive Director DEAN Initiative, Mr. Gideon Olanrewaju, Executive Director, Aid for Rural education Access Initiative (AREAi), Ms. Joy Oballum Technical Consultant, World Bank Group, Mr. Busayo Morakinyo Community Engagement Manager Connected Development(CODE), Ms. Kemi Ogunsanya, Literacy Educator/ Learning and Development Professional.
They commended the interventions already initiated by the Federal ministry of Education in addressing the impact on education and learning through the Federal Ministry of Education Covid-19 Response.
However it was observed that the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed weaknesses in the educational system, which include: poor funding, lack of infrastructure and investment in technology, need for improved retraining and training for teachers to be relevant in modern learning and education.
The DEAN Initiative further beckoned on all teachers in the public and private sector to imbibe the habit of learning virtual and digital skills, as the world is becoming a computer village daily.
Mr. Semiye Michael said, “Teachers need proper training to transition properly to virtual learning they need to be equipped with digital Learning skills, teachers need to be effectively trained on the use of digital and information skills to navigate the learning process.
“As we move towards recovery Post- COVID-19, there is need to embed core skills into our teaching and learning process. Skill based learning should be prioritize over Knowledge based learning to ensure that every Nigerian child is adequately positioned for the future.
“The issue of funding for education need to be taken serious, the Covid-19 has exposed the lack of the needed investment by government in education development. With funding for education, it should be accompanied with tracking to ensure the funds are directed to the intended need.
“Government at all level should prioritize investment in education because no nation outshines the level of its financial investment in Educational development. Above all, the need to ensure that teachers who are saddled with the key responsibilities of education and learning should be properly positioned for 21st century learning”.
To empower the voices of the people with valid information and engagement tools.
The envision a world where citizens' voices will not only be heard but form an integral part of governance.