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Boundless Magazine - - Strategy & Operations -

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. [email protected]

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