Former British Prime Minister and UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown will tomorrow attend an education summit in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
According to a release by the organisers, President Goodluck Jonathan will lead cabinet ministers, states governors and state education commissioners , as well as, global development partners to the event where measures to get Nigeria’s ten million out-of-school children into education will be discussed.
Also, leaders will assemble from USAID, Qatar’s Educate a Child, the Global Partnership for Education, and from the global business community led by the Global Business Coalition for Education. Each will pledge additional support to the efforts to ensure that every child in Nigeria is in school. The UK is also ready to boosting its help this year with a visit from the Permanent head of DFID coming soon.
“On Monday they will discuss how we can allocate new financial support for school building, teacher recruitment, teacher training and for new technology with tablets, phones and online school courses; this is part of a global initiative to get every boy and girl to school by the end of 2015. The movement will build a world where for the first time no boy or girl is denied their right to education.”
The release noted that despite the violence and attacks on education from extremist groups, Nigerians are signing a petition to support President Jonathan’s commitment to education, and are calling for safe schools for all of Nigeria’s children and for state level implementation of plans for universal education.
“All want to applaud the President’s initiative and give practical support to the Nigerian government and states in their renewed drive to expand education opportunity for all children. This is to move from the country with the world’s largest population of out-of-school children in the world to universal education.
“10 million children are yet to go to school because there is a teacher shortage of nearly 1.3 million, and we are missing 1.2 million classrooms. Child labour, child marriage and child trafficking prevent thousands getting to school. And for those that do find ways to get their children into school, there is doubt as to the effectiveness of the courses. Approximately 52 percent of young women who complete primary education remain illiterate. Illiteracy is standing between Nigeria and its deserved success as an economic powerhouse of the world.
“But in the midst of the education crisis, President Jonathan is prepared to take unprecedented action. He realises that getting every child into school and learning is feasible and achievable, and the key to Nigerian prosperity.
Learning from what works best, financial incentives must be fine-tuned to help state governments deliver; teacher training and professional development must be effectively taken to scale by leveraging technology. The curriculum of all schools must be strengthened to develop literacy and numeracy skills and families must be supported in their demand for education through conditional cash transfers.”