Pupils across schools in Lagos State Education District III had fun at the weekend.They danced, sang, clapped, and engaged in various competitions with winners going home with consolation prizes.
Most importantly, they were schooled more on the essence of learning and how powerful it is towards empowering people, protecting the planet; building shared prosperity; and fostering peace.
It was on Friday, January 24, during the commemoration of the United Nations International Day of Education which held at Osborne Schools Complex, Foreshore, Ikoyi.
In attendance were the organisers-United Nations Information Centre (UNIC); Office of the Tutor-General/Permanent Secretary Education District II1 – as well as the Nurturage Charity Foundations.
Each speaker mounted the podium to educate participants on the theme of this year’s event: ‘Learning for people, planet and prosperity’.
National Information Officer of UNIC Nigeria, Dr Oluseyi Soremekun, recalled how UN set aside every January 24 to continually underscore the concerns as espoused in the theme.
“For the United Nations, education is of concern to us all over the world; that is why UN General Assembly set aside January 24 as the International Day of Education all over the world.
Nigeria is also a member of UN and that is why we are celebrating today in collaboration with Lagos Education District III.
“The essence is to promote quality education and emphasise the importance of education to development.
“There are some messages in the themes which are central to the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs).
“For instance, we always insist that educational success must be able to transform to people; people must be at the centre of any prosperity.
“Our living and existence is dependent on the mother earth, so we must ensure the environment is safe for all to live. Our Education must also take into account how to foster peace in the society and among our neighbours.”
Dr Oluwafolayimika Ayandele who is the TGPS of District III, said the state has always been in the forefront of improved enrollment and quality education delivery.
“The present administration has repeatedly made its resolve known to ensure that we do not compromise quality education.
“Besides, the (Lagos State) government has also insisted on education for all. Government has directed that the way we teach in school meet the children’s demand and aspirations; what makes them comfortable.
“On our part, we encourage the students to learn the more because learning is lifelong. Lagos is putting up structures to ensure those in schools do not drop out of school, while ensuring we identify factors that keep some out of school and try to address them.
Henceforth, Ayandele vowed that the district would make the event annual as a means of repeatedly empowering the children aforementioned theme, especially as it concerns promoting peace and cleanliness both at home and in school.
Corroborating Ayandele, Director-General Quality Control, Lagos State Education, Mrs Abiola Seriki Ayeni, said aside ensuring quality, the state equally guarantees that her students are trained to think outside the box.
“Our aim is to change our environment and community, not waiting for anybody to teach pupils in class but going all out to make a difference independently.
We also encourage them to unleash their talents. We ensure education goes across anywhere. Education is dynamic and we need to keep informing them on current happenings,” she said.
A motivational speaker, Mr Jimi Terry, inspired participants with his grass-to-grace story, assuring them that the world is at their fingertips, only if they can demonstrate determination, resilience and the will power.
Similarly, Founder Hurturage Foundation, Abiola Bashorun, also recalled her personal experience with failure, saying that experience helped her resolve to set up Hurturge so as to inspire young folks towards success.
“I had a personal experience with failure. Eventually, I had to return to school to study Psychology. Therefore, I usually show passion when I see young children with emotional issues and other educational challenges.
‘’Our condition (as regards education) in Nigeria is not all good but at the same time not all bad. We only need to get learning right and every other thing shall fall into place,” he said.