Quality Education Goes Beyond Reading And Writing-Benedicta Uweru
Our guest writer for this blog post is the Founder of Girls Health & Education Foundation (GHeF). A platform where she enlightens girls to make informed decisions about their bodies, emphasizing the power of an educated girl. Her projects include “A Love Letter to Myself” & “Advocacy Against Teenage Pregnancy”. She shares her experience on the need to enhance the question of education. Kindly read through.
According to UNICEF, one in every five of the world’s out-of-school children is in Nigeria. In Nigeria, about 10.5 million children are not in school even though primary education is officially free and compulsory. In the north of the country, the picture is even bleaker, with a net attendance rate of 53 percent. This is enough to chew on already but I realized a different perspective recently.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4 addresses “Quality Education”. I am currently serving my country under the National Youth Service Corp Scheme in Kebbi State and during one of the Community Development Service (CDS) project which I facilitated, it became clearer to me that the quality of education in the Nation especially in Northern Nigeria should be re-examined.
The theme for the CDS project was Menstruation. I did my best to make the students comfortable and free enough to share their experiences with their periods in an engaging session. Something struck me- every girl who was supposed to come out to give their opinion during the Question/Answer sessions couldn’t speak boldly.
They were very beautiful girls but timid. I was stunned as girl after girl, those who came up to the podium couldn’t speak and it got me wondering what really education is! It is worthy of note that these girls, by virtue of being in school, are exempted from the statistics of “out of school” girls but the question remains, “what is the quality of education they are receiving?”
Education is MORE than just learning how to read and write. This is the 21st century where skills and information that enable one fit into the world should be taught in schools. Skills such as public speaking, mentoring, emotional intelligence etc. These should be inculcated in the curriculum.
It was disheartening to see students who found it difficult to converse constructively with their peers even with English being the official language in Nigeria. Why should a school approved by the Government of Nigeria teach students all subjects in local languages? How do these students compete favorably with students in other parts of the country and even the world?
The quality of education a child is exposed to influences relationships with others, quality of leadership and ultimately, the fate of a Nation. Some countries have taken initiative to invest in the quality of their educational system so much that it becomes a source of their revenue thereby boasting their GDP.
Education is what would make a youth resist being manipulated into causing communal clashes, being used as election thugs to rig elections. Education transforms the mind and puts one in a disposition to reach out for more learning. In summary, education has no end.
I hereby recommend a review of educational policies/curriculum in Kebbi State and Nigeria at large, utilizing local and international collaborations to enable students and graduates well rounded.
As a form of my contribution to Kebbi State, the Land of Equity, I would utilize my international network as a Young African Leader to fetch interested organizations and individuals to review the State’s Education curriculum in collaboration with the Commissioner for Education of the State and his ever vibrant team. Community by community, state by state, we can build the Nigeria of our dreams. I believe in Nigeria.
Kindly share your thoughts on this piece.