Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has lamented that the coronavirus pandemic has further worsened the ever-widening gulf between the educational opportunities of the privileged and less-privilege Nigerians.
Obasanjo who noted that the world was already in crisis before the pandemic hit the country said over 14 million children aren’t in class , and thereby bereft of education.
The former president spoke at the virtual 2020 Fellowship Graduation ceremony of the second cohort of “Teach for Nigeria Fellows.”
To transform the educational system in a sustainable way, the previous Nigerian leader said youths must take up leadership positions championing different innovative solutions at every level of the society and across different sectors.
To close what he described as the dangerous gap, he involved prompt action from well-meaning Nigerians imbued with courage, patriotism, commitment, foresight and love, to spearhead the movement for a brand new Nigeria generally, and particularly on education.
“I am delighted to be here with you today and commend the work that you simply do , especially during this pandemic, to make sure that children who lack access to online technologies currently being adopted by private schools are ready to learn during this era .
‘Some of you’re leveraging basic messaging platforms like Whatsapp, adopting the utilization of physical work packets and even driving partnerships with the govt to supply access to learning. an excellent example of this is often the work you’re currently doing with the Ogun government to pioneer the printed of lessons via state-owned television.
“These, along side many other accomplishments you’ve got achieved during the fellowship programme have shown us that youth leadership including innovation, cooperation and collaboration can indeed be a panacea to the ills in our academic sector and therefore the key to unlocking the complete potential of our teeming youth and, by extension, the good potential of our dear country.”
“It is vital to understand that leadership won’t be handed over to you but you’ve got to still exert yourselves to urge it. After all, because the saying goes, ‘power isn’t served a la carte, Obasanjo added.
Chief military officer , Teach For Nigeria, Folawe Omikunle said the graduating fellows had spent the past two years improving their academic outcomes.
She said they ignited the love for learning in these pupils, instilling self-belief, successfully galvanising parental and community support to assist pupil’s learning process.
“The graduating 161 fellows are joining our maiden set of 44 Alumni members, thereby bringing the amount of our Alumni network to 205 members. Teach For Nigeria may be a life-long commitment within the fight against educational inequity.”