Every Nigerian Child Project Update – December 2011

On Wednesday 30 November 2011, His Excellency Dr Dalhatu Sarki Tafida OFR CFR and senior ministers from the Nigerian High Commission received an ENCP delegation which included Nigerian footballing legend chief Segun Odegbami, chairman of the Nigerian Sports in Schools Commission (NASSCOM), and Mr Wale Samuel, National Policy Officer at the Civil Society Action Coalition on Education for All (CSACEFA), who were on a visit to the UK as part of a series of meetings with UK MPs and development partners to raise support for civil society organisations working to improve Nigeria’s education system.

The High Commissioner on receiving the delegation, spoke authoritatively, passionately and candidly about the problems with Nigerian’s education system as he welcomed the delegation and reiterated the mission’s support for The Every Nigerian Child Project.  He challenged the team to return with detailed proposals of their plans for the future and a formal request for support from the High Commission.

The ENCP team met on Monday 5th December 2011 to debate and prepare detailed proposals for the February 2012 stakeholder event and launch of the Every Nigerian Child Project in Nigeria taking place in Abuja.  These are now being discussed with a wide range of stakeholders as we plan towards the February’s showcase event in Abuja.

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Every Nigerian Child Project Update – October 2011

The Future By Us Programme Delivery Team are meeting next week Tuesday 25 October 2011 to review the progress we have made since the Future By Us Education Summit in February, and review plans for the Showcase event scheduled to take place in Abuja in February 2012.

As a group our vision is clear. We are working to ensure Every Nigerian Child has access to good quality education that will enable them to make a positive contribution to society.

Background

Following a Parliamentary Roundtable discussion on the ‘Role of Civil Society in Nigeria’s Education System’ held in the British House of Commons in December 2010, the Nigeria High Commission in London convened the Future By Us Education Summit which brought together a wide range of expert researchers, practitioners and key stakeholders in a process designed to produce a framework for all those working to improve the delivery of education in Nigeria over the next 10 years.

Summit Outcomes

  • The summit identified 5 key areas of focus for all those working to improve Nigeria’s education sector, and in March 2011 submitted its interim report (see http://bit.ly/eyBUjt/) to the Professor Obanya led Presidential Taskforce Team on Education
  • 2 members of our Senior Advisory panel were appointed members of the Presidential Taskforce Team on Education.
  • The Every Nigerian Child Project was subsequently established to take forward the key recommendations from the Future By Us Education Summit, and serves as a key policy advocacy platform for non-state actors committed to rebuilding Nigeria’s education sector.
  • With Professor Ruqayyatu Rufa’i’s reappointment, one of the key recommendations of the Future By Us Interim Report – i.e. the need to depoliticize appointments to the Ministry of Education given the need for continuity, has been adopted
  • Four members of the Future By Us Programme Delivery Tean have been appointed to serve on various committees on the Minister for Education’s Task Team on Education
  • Bayelsa and Crosss River State Governments have engaged members of the Future By Us Delivery Team to review the provision of education in their respective States.
  • Future By Us panellist Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi and former Kwara State Commissioner for Education has been appointed the Minister for Youth Development.
  • Future By Us recently worked with the Federal Ministry of Youth Development to partner with the Global Heart Foundation and other Youth Empowerment organisations to host the 6th National Youth Summit held in Abuja from the 28th September to the 1st October 2011.
  • We are working with RESULTS UK to incorporate the UK delegation of MPs scheduled to visit Nigeria in February 2012 into the programme of events to mark the anniversary of the Future By Us Education Summit, and establish an annual event that showcases emerging best practice in Nigeria’s education sector
  • Future By Us team has been approached by Programme Delivery Partners – The Global Poverty Project, to support campaigning activities in Nigeria as part of their The End of Polio campaign
  • We are working with the Association of Nigerian Academics in the UK and the Golden Heart Foundation to launch a pilot scheme that will see UK professionals volunteer to run three to four week summer schools in Nigeria

Every Nigerian Child Project – April Update

 

Nigeria matters: A word on the April elections
On Monday 16 April 2011, the announcement of the re-election of President Goodluck Jonathan through a process described by the BBC as ‘fairly free and fair’ will further establish Nigeria’s maturing democracy, at least internationally, as a failing state on a sure and steady path to reform.

Domestically, Nigerians are constantly reminded that the state of their nation is fragile at best. But Nigerian’s must not be discouraged; nor should we give way to the dark forces that are working to tempt us off the sure and steady track to national transformation.

We are stronger together, and the hopes of our founding fathers must live on as we work together, a vast and diverse company of Progressives – no victor no vanquished, to build a new Nigeria.

And build we must. All off us doing our bit, playing our part in the national effort that it will take to build the Nigeria of our dreams.

We have come a long way
So far, the 2011 elections have had the highest level of optimism and civic engagement since the infamous June 12 annulment during the Babangida era.

Nigeria has come a long way since the dark days that precipitated the birth of the current journey towards a stable democracy, but we will need to sustain the level of civic engagement we have experienced over the past four months to take us faster and further down the road of the national transformation we all seek.

Every Nigerian Child Project Update
As a group, our vision is clear. Diverse as we are, we are united in our mission to ensure Every Nigerian Child has access to good quality education that will enable them to make a positive contribution to society.

  • In March 2011 we submitted our interim report (see http://bit.ly/eyBUjt/) to the Professor Obanya led Presidential Taskforce Team on Education
  • 2 members of our Senior Advisory panel were appointed members of the Presidential Taskforce team Team on Education, which will ensure that the 20 policy ideas we came up with to enable civil society organisations to play a greater role in the delivery of public sector education, will play a key part in the government sponsored review of Nigeria’s education system
  • Leading up to the election, we circulated the report to each of the 3 main political parties along with our support for the CSACEFA-led 1 goal campaign
  • We have recieved encouraging words of support from the Federal Ministry of Education and a number of State Commissioners for Education

May Planning Meeting
As we prepare for the launch of the Every Nigerian Child Project in Abuja this November, this May we will be convening a meeting in London to develop, review and discuss the key elements that will make the launch a success.

In a few days, Nigeria will conclude the much lauded electoral process that will be seen for decades to come as a key milestone in the project to establish Nigeria in  its rightful place in the global league of nations.

The Almighty has blessed Nigeria with abundant human and natural resources, and now Nigeria is inches closer to living up to its potential as the ‘Giant of Africa’.

The Future By Us Education Summit – Looking Ahead

LAST WEEK WE HIT A MAJOR MILESTONE ON THE TIMELINE FOR OUR MISSION to convincingly and conclusively address the urgent national crisis that means between 8 and 30 million Nigerian children are not in school, and the majority of those who are, record abysmal learning outcomes, and are considered by potential employers as being ill-equipped and unprepared for the modern workforce.

What began with a conversation in December 2010, following a roundtable discussion on the Future of Education in Nigeria at the British House of Commons between Thelma Ekiyor, Executive Director at the TY Danjuma Foundation, His Excellency Ambassador Dozie Nwanna OON the acting Nigerian High Commissioner, and Gori Olusina Daniel the Executive Director at the World Changers Foundation, with support from a cross-section of supportive organisations has since triggered a bit a mini revolution of sorts.

 We have only just begun

 Last week Lucian Tarnowski, CEO of Brave New Talent, posted a message on Twitter of his visit to Facebook HQ, where posters were positioned all over the place saying

‘the job is only 1% done.’

 Like the team behind Facebook, while we can take pride in all we have achieved; we cannot afford to rest on our laurels as we consider that there is still a heck of a lot more to be done before we see every Nigerian child have access to good quality education that will enable them to make a positive impact on society.

We have submitted our recommendations to the Presidential Taskforce Team on Education, but this time we cannot afford to sit down, fold our arms and wait for permission to do what we can do. The challenge is too great, and the need too urgent to sit, wait and do nothing.

We have a real opportunity to ensure that every Nigerian child has access to good quality education that will enable them to make a positive impact on society.

To deliver this picture of the future we see, we must realise like Nelson Mandela did four deacades ago, that the status quo – the current state of things is vastly unacceptable. We must do everything we can to work towards fixing this great social injustice; because if we don’t, we are bound to face another 50 years of missed opportunities, and end our lives bitter and frustrated, full of regrets about what we could have achieved, if only we were bolder.

Now is the time to act

According to Gori Olusina Daniel, Executive Director at the World Changers Foundation,

“we have a 15-year window in which to act, but what we do right now will make all the difference.”

We will succeed because even though individually, we can only do so much, together we are an unstoppable force.

As we take action, our impact will grow. We will increase the number and effectiveness of people who find their voice through our movement. As a result, the number of Nigerian children – especially those from poor, low-income, and traditionally excluded groups we collectively impact and enable to have access to good quality education will grow exponentially. Ultimately, through our collective efforts, we will deliver the Nigeria of our dreams; because when you equip and empower people, you change and transform a nation.

 Every Nigerian Child

 The Every Nigerian Child Project will take forward all we have achieved with the Future By Us Education Summit.

With your help and continued support, in April, we will begin the process of launching the Every Nigerian Child Project – a membership organisation that will serve as a platform to encourage and initiate better collaboration and increase the effectiveness of all those working to ensure every Nigerian child has access to good quality education that will enable them to make a positive impact on society.

 As part of this process, we will need your help to develop the foundational principles and organisational structure that will support all those working to improve the Nigerian education sector over the next 10 years.

 We have already made history. With your continued support, over the next 10 years, we will succeed in our mission to ensure every Nigerian child has access to good quality education that will enable them to make a positive impact on society.

 

The Future By Us: Rebuilding Nigeria’s Education Sector Over the Next 10 years

With less than a fortnight to a series of landmark elections that will further strengthen Nigeria’s young democracy, last week’s edition of the influential Economist magazine predicts,

“policies rather than personality and the power of patronage, will decide the winners in Nigeria’s presidential, Assembly and Gubernatorial elections.”

While I wish this was the real reading of the Economist’s editorial on the forthcoming Nigerian elections, and not its exact opposite; I realise that if things are going to change in Nigeria, it must first start with us, and there’s no better time start than right now. If others give up on Nigeria, we cannot afford to give up on ourselves!

In February, millions of football fans around the world were glued to their tv screens as we watched one of the greatest comebacks in Premiership history as Newcastle evened out a 4-0 Arsenal lead. We may never know what the coach said at half time, whatever he said, one thing is for sure – it built belief! Belief that yielded the energy and persistence to get the desired result. 

We must begin to believe our best days as a nation are ahead. To deliver this picture of the future we see, we must ensure that every Nigerian child has access to good quality education that will enable them to make a positive contribution to society.

That is why His Excellency, Ambassador Dozie Nwanna, the acting Nigerian High Commissioner to the UK, with support from organisations such as TY Danjuma Foundation, Central Association of Nigerians in the UK (CANUK), the Federal Ministry of Education, DFID funded Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria, political advocacy group – RESULTS UK, the Global Poverty Project, the World Changers Foundation and a host of other organisations, convened an education summit in February 2011 to develop a framework for all those working to improve Nigeria’s education sector over the next 10 years.

Following the invitation of the Federal Ministry of Education, last week His Excellency, Ambassador Dozie Nwanna, the Nigerian High Commissioner submitted the final report to the Presidential Taskforce and the Federal Ministry of Education.

The main thrust of our recommendations reflect our view that while successful national transformation and change initiatives, as we have seen in China, Singapore, South Korea, and closer to home in Ghana and Botswana must be supported and enabled by government policies, they are largely driven by citizens who choose to roll up their sleeves and be part of the change process.

We invite you to be part of the solution we have all hoped and prayed for, because if it is going to happen, it is down to us.

The report will soon be available on our website http://www.thefuturebyus.org/. In the meantime join us on Linkedin, facebook, Youtube, and feel free to share this information with those you know are determined to be part of the wave of change that will deliver the Nigeria of our dreams.

Working to ensure all Nigerian children have access to good quality education