Urgent Action Needed to Improve Education – FUNAAB Student

A 500-level student in the Department of Plant Physiology and Crop Production (PP&CP), College of Plant Science and Crop Production (COLPLANT), Mr. Damola Morenikeji, has called on the government and stakeholders in the education sector, to take urgent action at improving the quality of education in Nigeria. Mr. Morenikeji, who is also a Global Youth Ambassador (GYA), disclosed this during a meeting of the national delegation of ‘A World at School Global Youth Ambassadors in Nigeria’, held with officials of the Ogun State Government, at the Deputy Governor’s Office, Oke-mosan, Abeokuta.

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According to him, “there is a global crisis in the education sector which has made over 58 million children of school age to be out of schools globally, while 10.5 million of them are in Nigeria”.  He added that with the exception of few cases, there was a decline in the quality of education, stressing the urgent need for schools to be safe havens for learning. He stated that education provided the required foundation for young people to get through life and contribute positively to their society, adding that research had proven that if young people were provided with quality education under an environment that promotes innovation and learning, it would have positive impact on the economy by bringing about rapid agricultural development, enterprise growth, improved health, global partnership and poverty alleviation.

The Global Youth Ambassador stated that the Association had already presented a 30-point Youth Recommendation on Education to the Ogun State Government, while seeking public support for education, through the Up-For-School campaign. He noted that Education Advocates, in a bid to promote education, had declared that the Up-For-School campaign with about 8 million signatures collected globally, would be delivered to world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly, slated for September 2015.

While receiving the delegation on behalf of the Ogun State Government, the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Yetunde Onanuga, appreciated the dedication of the Global Youth Ambassadors, stressing the commitment of government at providing access to free and improved quality primary and secondary education in the state. According to her, “government is committed to fishing out ‘out-of-school’ children and showing them the way to school”. She assured that the percentage of educated youths in the state would increase astronomically by the end of the year 2015 and subsequent years. While signing the Up-For-School petition, she charged the youths, parents and institutions to work with the government in achieving improved quality of education in the country.

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Present at the meeting were the Director of Administration, Deputy Governor’s Office, Mr. Babajide Adejumo; representative of the GYA from Abuja and CEO, Youth Power Initiative, Ambassador Joy Tiku Enighe; representative of the GYA from Edo State and member, World Co-ordinating Team of World Without War and Violence, Ambassador Purpose OsaIserhienrhien; representatives of the GYA from Lagos State and Executive Secretary, Association of Private Educators in Nigeria, Ambassador Adebukola Orenuga; as well as Ambassador Daniel Nwaeze.

Also present were the representatives of the GYA from Osun State and Director of Advocacy,  Organisation of African Youth for Development and Peace, Ambassador Temidayo Musa; the Team Leader, i-Speak Nigeria, Abeokuta, Mr. Ayodele David Salt; the Executive Co-ordinator, Grow the Child Network, Lagos, Miss. Alli Olajumoke;  and the representative of All for Development, Miss. Adenike Adewuni.

Meanwhile, the Global Youth Ambassadors group, which comprises 500 youth leaders from 85 countries, was inaugurated by the United Nations’ Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon and the UN Special Envoy for Global Education and the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Mr. Gordon Brown, on April 10, 2014 in Washington DC, to basically ensure advocacy for education and development.

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