Heal The World with Dera Foundation (HDWDF) has charged stakeholders in the educational sector and the Nigerian government on the need to double efforts in ensuring accessible education for all children of school age.
The charity foundation gave this charge on Friday in a media parley with the Founder/executive Director; Chidera Favour Jimp on the sidelines of a ‘back to School project’ as part of HDWDF’s activities for marking the January 24 International Day of Education and celebration of the role of education for peace and development.
HDWDF noted that as the theme of this year’s International Day of Education goes: “to invest in people, prioritize education,” government and stakeholders need to be reminded that education is essential to the development and progress of any nation, and it is now a generally accepted fact that the development of any society is directly related to the quality of education of its inhabitants.
According to Chidera, “Education is a fundamental human right, which is a catalyst for human and societal development. As a means of reinforcing this tenet, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming January 24th of every year as the International Day of Education, in celebration of the role of education in peace and development.
“Nigeria, as a Member State of the UN, also adopted all the 17 Goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of which Education for All is one of these goals. It is also interesting to note that the right to education is contained in Chapter 2 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (As Amended), which states that the provision should guide the formulation of policies and programs of government as a means towards the delivery of good governance to the Nigerian people”.
“Despite all these commitments, Nigeria has continued to record an increasing number of out-of-school children with the 2022 report by UNESCO putting the number at 20 million. In the same year, public universities were shut for almost eight months due to strike action by the Academic Staff Union of the Universities (ASUU) who are protesting the chronic underfunding of the education sector by the government.
“While this year’s International Day of Education is dedicated to Afghan women who have been battling with the Taliban-led government to allow them the freedom to pursue their educational goals, it is also important to draw the attention of the Nigerian authorities to the unpleasant fact of the high number of out of school children especially in the Northern part of the country as a result of several failed policies within the education sector coupled with insecurity and debilitating poverty”.
While speaking on the back to school which took place at LEA primary school Gwagwalada Abuja, Chidera informed that critical thinking is developed by education and as a result, the students were taught how to use logic when making decisions and interacting with others.
Beyond this, Chidera also informed that the foundation reached out to 50 primary school pupils by providing them with basic back-to-school items such as Notebooks, literature, pen and pencils, socks, etc.
Highlighting what the foundation has been doing to ensure quality and accessible education for all in Nigeria, Ms. Jimp noted: “First we can’t take every child to school, but we can reach out to the ones we can.
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“Over the past 6 years, we have been able to pay the fees of some children to put them back in school and also donate necessary school items including toiletries and pay for school dues. We can heal the world when we have more helping hands”, she informed.
- By Ken Gbados