WWN™ #ThrowbackThursday |#NwanyiBuIfe #EducateAGirl: Investing in Our Community/Public Schools

WWN Scholarship Recipients

WWN Scholarship Recipients and Co-Founder

In the first picture above are 2 of 5 WWN’s 2015 Scholarship Recipients: Chidinma Ezeudu and Blessing Ochomma of St Kizito Girls’ Secondary School. (Future courses of study: Petroleum and Chemical Engineering Respectively).

And in the second picture, I asked to take a picture with them, because like I told them, based on their passions, academic excellence, leadership skills, sense of humanity and creative abilities, they are sure to achieve greatness in the near future. (And I’d love to be a part of their story)!😀

I say a huge YES! to more girls enrolled in the Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fields (STEM). I believe these fields equip girls/women with problem- solving, analytical, logical-reasoning, leadership and resilience skills, to mention a few. (I must confess that the fact that my first degree was in Electrical Engineering makes me a tad biased)!

I had a totally fun and inspiring day at the school’s graduation ceremony and was a witness their alumni inauguration. By the way, these students can sing, dance, recite poetry and are simply very creative! #‎EducateAGirlNigeria‬ ‪#‎SEED4Her‬

Here’s a thought: Imagine that all the public/faith-based schools in our rural communities were transformed to have higher standards, and that the school fees are made affordable and accessible to all citizens? What would that do to our society as a whole? How would the overall quality of life be affected? Our rural communities can be transformed into innovation and sustainability hubs or development cells..

Some nations have successfully re-engineered their entire polity through quality PUBLIC education. Singapore did it, Canada did it, Scandinavian nations did it, Korea did it. In fact, UAE, Rwanda, Ethiopia and India are currently doing it. It is very possible in Nigeria if we curb corruption and ineptitude, especially in education funding, administration and management.

Why can’t Nigeria attempt this noble feat?

Notice how India is now a leader in health tourism and ICT? Well, it didn’t happen by chance. A few years ago, there was a well thought out, strategic plan to overhaul their educational sector/curriculum to reflect labour market trends and global outlook. Their diaspora population also played a huge role in achieving this.

Sick Nigerians, (rich and poor), now go to India for kidney/cancer/liver treatments! Our medical doctors are leaving in droves to foreign lands.

We are ripe for an emergency intervention in our educational systems. It is time to model after successful nations and urgently start raising up a new generation of Transformational-Ethical-Creative Leaders. We need a well developed human resources base to solve our many challenges.

It is time for all of us to become active and committed stakeholders in the education sector; start at the basics. Give back to your community schools through mentorship, scholarship or grants, training of teachers, building of adequate infrastructure, such as libraries, WASH facilities, playgrounds, makerspaces, STEM labs, sports centres and amenities for other extra-curricular activities. Or we may choose to engage in education development through advocacy, – by holding leaders accountable and demanding that Government lives up to its direct and indirect responsibilities.

The private schools account for only a small fraction of the total number of students enrolled in our schools. A high percentage of this generation, who are often touted as the ‘future leaders’,  are wasting away and ticking like timed-bombs. The detailed statistics and industry reports of the rot in our educational system are even more disheartening.

There are more people at the grassroots or under-served areas than there are well-educated elites. If your neighbour is hungry or ill equipped, soon that problem will arrive at your own gate. The base of the pyramid ought to be solid, or those at the top are soon in trouble. The crimes of kidnapping, terrorism, armed robbery, bribery & corruption, poverty, incompetent staff, general insecurity etc., are all made worse when we pay lip service to education.

Education is too important an issue to delegate to the government or a few for-fee private school management or owners alone. Our public schools need our active engagement to overhaul them into centres of excellence. We can begin to collaborate and mix different tested models to make it work. A multi-modal approach will likely yield better outcomes. Integrate technology (edu-tech) and more entrepreneurial studies. We must own the challenges of development, and begin to approach our challenges in a holistic/integrated way. It is time to reframe problems as opportunities.

We now live in a knowledge-based, value-driven economy, and investment in human potential/capital development, is the key that unlocks the latent creativity, productivity, value and solutions. A relatable, equitable, inclusive, affordable, accessible education, that aligns with labour market needs/trends, is now needed more than ever.

Give back to your communities. Become more involved. Transform your little spaces. Invest in engaging, educating and empowering youths, especially girls. Sow a #SEED4Her #SEED4Him

Dream wonderful dreams and co-create your destiny and unique flow! Cyber-hugs,💕-

Love, Light & Truth!

-Juliet ‘Kego Ume-Onyido
You may also find me on my Floetry Blog
Follow me on twitter: @JulietKego
Co-Founder & Executive Director, Whole WoMan Network

Raising a New Generation of Transformational, Ethical & Creative African Leaders (T.E.C)
#BridgingTheIntegrityGap #LeadershipMatters #EducateAGirl #EducateABoy #NwanyiBuIfe

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