Background of Need for this Program
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight international development goals that all 192 United Nations Member States and at least 23 international organizations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015. One of these goals is to Achieve Universal Primary Education. It aims that by 2015, all children (girls and boys) can complete a full course of primary schooling.
A DFID report states that Nigeria was ranked 154th out of 179 countries in the 2008 Human Development Index and is unlikely to achieve any of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. It further states that, Seventy-two million people live on less than a dollar a day. One in five children dies before the age of five and almost 40% – or 8 million – of primary school-aged children are not in school.
However, Education is recognized throughout the world even by those who themselves have not enjoyed an education as a powerful tool for a child or a family or a whole society to make progress. Education is no longer viewed as a luxury for some but as a necessity for all. The World Bank has said repeatedly that education provides the highest rate of return on any investment in developing nations.
It is for these reasons that CELD put together a National Conference on Education to bring to the fore, the challenges facing education in Nigeria as we approach the MDG deadline of 2015; stimulate public/private sector responses in addressing the decay in the Nigerian Educational System; generate practical steps and actions towards addressing the knowledge gap in the educational sector; and develop a programme of action for the proper education of children in preparation of their role as future leaders of the nation.
The Conference with the theme: Quality Education of the Child/Youth as a tool for National Development: Assessing Nigeria’s MDG’s performance in Education held on November 12th, 2010 at the Merit House Hall, Maitama, Abuja. It afforded the participants the opportunity to assess Nigeria’s MDG’s performance in Education; initiate practical steps of increasing access to education beyond the primary level; ensuring that every child/youth continue to receive training in formal secondary education—both upper and lower levels—to develop all their talents, to live better, to rise out of poverty, to enter active life and to take part in development.
During the conference, a series of discussion papers were presented by key national stakeholders, highlighting issues affecting the Nigerian educational system, the progress made, and the way forward, which was also published and sent to stakeholders in Nigeria.
One of the highlights of the Conference was the unveiling of CELD’s Educational Assistance Program the issuance of scholarship cheques to vulnerable students and also flagging off The Future Leaders Club, aimed at building the Leadership and Life Skill Capacities of students. This is coming at a time when true leadership has become a scarce attribute in our nation. Thus grooming our young ones, in their formative years is so expedient.
Beneficiaries of CELD’s EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (EAP)
|Elizabeth OluwaseunMuazu AbdullahiAmazu Obieageli
|GSS KarshiGSS KawuGSS Jikwoyi
Apart from the unveiling of the Educational Assistance Program, the Future Leaders Club was also flagged off with the inauguration of the following pilot chapters: Government Secondary School Airport, Abuja, Government Secondary School Kawu, Government Secondary School Zuba, Government Secondary School Karshi, Government Secondary School Gaube, Government Secondary School Gawu, Government Secondary School Jikwoyi, Government Secondary School Yangoyi, all in the Federal Capital Territory. Club activities will commence as soon as schools resume.
The last session featured a “best practices award” from CELD to stakeholders with outstanding performances in building the Nigerian Educational System and providing access to education for Nigerian Children/Youth.
Success Stories from the EAP