On June 16th, we celebrated The Day of The African Child. As an organization, our focus this year is on how we can help lower income communities make schools more conducive for learning and to also have access to libraries. This is line with Aspiration 6 of Agenda 2040 which states, “Every child benefits fully from quality education”.
Our recent work with the school in low-income communities has made us aware of the challenges such schools face ranging from lack of access to good infrastructure, poverty, and low availability of teachers. We spoke with Comrade Ibraheem, an elementary school teacher in the public education sector of Lagos State to gain more perspective of the challenges in his school and community.
Ibraheem strongly believes that the education of the girl child can help reduce inequality because an educated girl will most likely enter the workforce and contribute to the resources of the family. However, he envisages not just knowledge-based tuition but an education that helps pupils realize their full potential. This simply means that ideal is being buried in every person’s soul but with education each person will develop their skills and potential.
Comrade Ibraheem further believes children in public school children can access better learning facilities opportunities if the stakeholders in education collaborate.
In his words, “Every stakeholder must take education as the most important tool that could transform society into the best abode. Government policies and bureaucracy should not be rigid which will make it difficult for stakeholders to make reasonable contributions towards building a better academic environment for the learners”.
Indeed, we share his sentiments. Across the federation, the good intention of non-profit organizations is often frustrated by government officials asking for bribes before good can be done in their communities.
Ibraheem believes the government needs to eliminate bottlenecks that make it difficult for individuals, and organizations to contribute their quota in education development.
Our next question was on the infrastructure that needs to be in place for community schools to be more conducive and inclusive. Surprisingly, Ibraheem’s first point was on the importance of access roads to existing schools.
Secondly, building of more classroom blocks or more schools is also needed for an enabling education environment which promotes learning. Currently, most community schools are congested and overpopulated beyond design capacity thereby making it difficult for pupils’ learners to concentrate.
Thirdly, he notes the paucity of well-trained teachers in the schools.
Comrade shares our belief that low-income communities and less privileged societies need more attention for meaningful growth and development. The schools need books, uniforms, shoes, writing materials, well equipped and secured library, classroom furniture, sports facilities and equipment, and school buses. These will make the schooling children in low-income communities have a sense of belonging and accelerate their progress.
Speakout Africa is committed to carrying out yearly literacy projects. Our goal this year is help a school get equipped with a library and to also to provide benches for a select primary school. To close every development index gap, quality education must be achieved.
We admire Comorade Ibraheem’s passion for elementary education and for his pupils. To contact him for further information about his school and how you or your organization can partner with them, kindly send an email to email@example.com.