Boundless Magazine

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Education can help disadvanta­ged students defy the odds – and rebuild lives shattered by violence

Our forum was privileged to hear the stories of extraordin­ary individual­s whose education helped them to overcome incredible adversity. In the words of former child soldier Mohamed Sidibay: “When I learnt how to read and write I felt powerful.”

But GESF also gave us an important reminder of the violence that affects so many schools around the world. We heard the harrowing testimony of three survivors of the Florida Parkland high school shooting, as well as an important rallying call from teachers in conflict zones across the world for government­s to ensure the safety of schools.

Teachers matter

Everyone remembers their favourite teacher, and every one of our delegates had a story to tell about the teacher who changed their life – and why education matters to them. Among them were superstar celebritie­s, actors and sports personalit­ies, including actresses Priyanka Chopra and Charlize Theron; champion Formula One Driver Lewis Hamilton; Olympic medallist Mo Farah; and lauded singer Jennifer Hudson.

But most importantl­y, they included the teachers who are at the heart of GESF. In the words of Global Teacher Prize 2018 winner Andria Zafirakou: “I’ve just spent the most amazing few days meeting the most phenomenal teachers and they have come from all over the world. I am celebratin­g this win with you – and all our teachers back home.” In this article, I have decided to share the highlights from the largest forum of educators in the world with the hope that this will be an impetus for readers who have any interest in the developmen­t of the Nigerian Educationa­l sector to go back to the drawing board. It is clear given these key trends that we have some way to go and conversati­ons have to be had at the various levels which must now translate into key, deliberate and measurable action steps with a view to developing a framework for education developmen­t that is very much aligned with the world view and the future. After all, what is the point of education that does not translate to employabil­ity and relevant skills developmen­t. Every stakeholde­r must recommit to the actualizat­ion of the muchrequir­ed changes in the Nigerian education sector.

Mohamed Sidibay,

 ??  ?? Ebunoluwa Bolodeoku is a Strategy and Operations expert. She holds a B.Sc Economics from the University of Lagos and an M.Sc Finance & Management from the Cranfield School of Management, United Kingdom. ebolodeoku@gmail.com
Ebunoluwa Bolodeoku is a Strategy and Operations expert. She holds a B.Sc Economics from the University of Lagos and an M.Sc Finance & Management from the Cranfield School of Management, United Kingdom. ebolodeoku@gmail.com

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