Worried by the learning gap in the education system, especially of less-privileged children and the need to bridge such gaps in the country, there is the urgent need for formidable collaborations across all walks of life to defeat education inequity in order to unleash the potential of the next generation.
The call was made by the Chief Executive Officer of Teach For Nigeria (TFN), a non-governmental organiation, Mrs. Folawe Omikunle, during the 2020 graduation of 2018 Cohorts of the Teach For Nigeria Fellows, which was organised via Zoom online platform. “We must continue to forge formidable collaborations across all walks of life to defeat this multi-headed hydra called education inequity; it is time to unleash the potential of the next generation,” She said.
According to her, the graduating Fellows had spent the past two years not only in improving the academic outcomes of their pupils, but also igniting the love for learning in the pupils, instilling self-belief and successfully galvanising parental and community support to assist the pupils in their learning process. No fewer than 161 Fellows, who she noted, impacted about 9,660 students in 80 schools across Lagos, Ogun, and Kaduna States, received their graduation scrolls for the 2020 TFN Cohorts during the ceremony.
“These Fellows are joining our maiden set of 44 alumni members, thereby bringing the total number of our alumni network to 205 members,” Mrs. Omikunle added, saying the graduating Fellows have spent these past two years in improving the academic outcomes and learning process of the children.
The CEO, who expressed the belief of Teach For Nigeria that education is not a privilege, but a right, insisted further that if there was a time the organisation should work harder to fulfill its vision of a future where every Nigerian child will have an excellent education, she not-ed that the time is now.
She stressed: “The raging novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID- 19) pandemic has exacerbated the ever-widening gulf between the learning opportunities of the privileged child and the less privileged child, and we must continue to work together to build a nation that will ensure this right for every child.
“The journey that got us here today has been marked with ups and downs, but it has also afforded us the opportunity to learn and grow. We are proud that we have all been able to surmount the challenges we faced on this journey. It is becoming clearer through the work we have done that our vision is achievable. Indeed, it will be a long journey and we have barely scratched the surface, but we have reasons to commit ourselves for the long haul.”
On his part, the Board Chairman, Teach For Nigeria, Mr. Gbenga Oyebode, who recalled that the TFN Fellows, as part of the teachers’ social impact projects engaged the students during the lockdown by deploying teaching through radio. While congratulating the graduates of the Second Cohort of Fellows, he also lauded TFN ambas- Obaseki sadors and donors, saying without them the organisation would not have reached its present heights.
Oyebode, who noted that the initiative, which started four years ago, had been able to achieve expanded programmes through its diversity, inclusion and ability to grow and push the frontiers of TFN agenda and learning across the country. “We started four years ago with only 44 teachers, but have been able to graduate this year 161 Fellows.
We are working with over 400 Fellows that we have deployed to schools, and this shows the extent of work we are doing in view of the level of education inequity in the country,” he pointed out, saying there is the need for more teachers in our schools.
The Board chair, however, reiterated that education remains the key to national grow, saying over 75 per cent of TFN teachers are in the nation’s education space where they have continued their impact in the system, especially on other teachers and students in schools where they teach. He lauded the Lagos, Ogun and