Founder, Concerned Parent and Educators Initiative (CPE), a facebook education advocacy group Mrs Yinka Ogunde, has announced that the group would be embarking on a new advocacy next month.
Addressing reporters at a briefing at S.M.I.L.E Resources centre at Ogudu GRA, Lagos, Ogunde said CPE has for sometime been partnering the Association for Formidable Educational Development (AFED), by visiting and donating to some of the member-schools and providing scholarship for some pupils in Lagos.
This time, however, Ogunde said the group would be going into a one month advocacy tagged: ‘Education transformation advocacy month’.
According to her, the initiative is hinged on the gross decay in the nation’s education sector and the danger it portends for the children now and in the near future.
Ogunde said the campaign would see CPE touring basic and secondary schools nationwide, donating equipment to those in need while offering scholarships to pupils from poor background.
She recalled that during the AFED campaign, CPE was instrumental to paying tuition for over 200 indigent pupils across member schools in Lagos, adding that now, the plan was to spread its tentacles beyond.
Ogunde noted that CPE has a strong presence in 21 states which would be replicating the initiative concurrently.
She recalled how CPE was founded four years ago, as an online platform with the main objective of bringing together key stakeholders in education sector to deliberate on ways the of improving standards in schools; empowering teachers with necessary information and skills; supporting parents; protecting the children, and generally ensuring effective outcome in schools, among others.
She said: “Many people complain that the graduates who are being churned out of our universities today are not employable. The question is: Why are they unemployable? What are the processes that we need to put in place to make them employable? What are the things needed to make sure our children can compete favorably with others across the world? The reason is simple; if we don’t do anything, nothing is going to change and this is where CPE comes in.
“We need people who will be able to take ownership of problems and not just talk about the problems. It so easy to talk but it is more challenging to do.”
Another CPE member Mrs Toyin Idowu, explained that the first week of the advocacy would serve as an avenue for stakeholders to voice out their concerns on the pitiable state of education in Nigeria, while seeking interested donors and other support from government.
The second week would be a social media advocacy, x-raying education challenges as well as proffering solutions.
Third week tagged: Na me education help would be dedicated to using those who have acquired sound education as motivational speakers to inspire others; while the final week would feature presentation of letters by states CPEs to their respective governments, identifying the peculiar challenges of education in their state.
A UK-based mathematician and creator of the ‘Race to infinity math game’ an online mathematics coaching Dr Grace Olugbode, who drew the line between education in the United Kingdom (UK) and Nigeria, noted that teachers in the former category give more accountability of whatever they taught their students.
On why there are many atrocities in basic/secondary schools, Olugbode said it is because pupils are confused about why they are in school.
“Why are you in school or why am I doing this subject if education can’t be fun? Learners can relate this to what they want in life.
These days, children go to school because their parents want them to. Let’s try to understand the children’s needs and wants so they could be able to achieve their aim toward success,” she added.
At the conference were: Mrs Helen Essien of the CPE Administration team; Mrs Toyin Idowu, proprietor, and a parent, Mrs Adejoke Babatunde, Deputy CEO, Law Build Limited; Mrs Omobolanle Dabiri, a member and Mrs Yinka Ogunise and an educator and parent.