By Femi Adi
In their efforts to ensure and promote quality education in Nigeria , Hope Builders and Caleb Danladi Foundation are partnering to mobilise resources to prepare youths for the rapidly changing global economy .
The partnership is aimed at shaping, supporting and influencing the future of young people in rural communities by sharing information, knowledge, challenges and ideas.
The Executive Director of Hope Builders ,Reverend Mathias B. Yashim explained the rationale behind the partnership .
His words : ” We are committed to building leaders, strengthening the lives and sharpening the skills of young people for community and sustainable development. Meeting with Caleb Danladi Foundation was timely due to the many challenges that are evident in the education system.
“Focused on empowering widows, orphans and vibrant youth in the society, Caleb Danladi Foundation is a Non – Governmental Organization that is not only reaching out to the most vulnerable in the society, but also promotes community and rural development.
“Although, government has taken action to increase access to education and improve funding for public schools and universities, there are still challenges within the system ranging from educational content and curricula to the learning environment and facilities. There is almost no discussion about the quality of what is given to the learners in schools, thereby making access to quality education an issue.
“In some instances, learners have to trek for several hours to access a good school because of location. Other challenges we observed include poverty, hunger, and violence as top among issues disrupting learning in rural communities. Many under aged children have to drop out of school to start earning money to support their parents.
“Some learners drop out because the parents cannot afford daily transportation to the so-called good schools. Education, we believe should enrich the learner and by extension the society, it should match the desires of the society and the labour market. It must be more flexible, risky and full of entrepreneurship.
“The best education is one that opens learners’ minds to think critically, learners’ hearts to embrace all even when they disagree, and learners’ hands to be practical in all endeavors. This will give birth to a generation of young problem solvers and entrepreneurs.
“Complimenting government efforts, Caleb Danladi Foundation’s Support Child Education project has supplied writing materials that were distributed to thousands of pupils and students, supplied uniforms, and paid school fees to several children in secondary and tertiary education within Kaduna state.
“The Foundation has also constructed blocks of classrooms and renovated others in rural communities to enable rural dwellers have access to learning facilities. We all have come across pictures that are posted on social media showing children going to school while overcoming some difficult conditions.
“While it is very encouraging, practically it is extremely hard to achieve education without the basic learning facilities. We partner with institutions of learning to provide practical training to hundreds of students at a time.
“We also partner with community leaders and organizations to identify needs and collaborate with youths to find solutions to these needs. This is to enable us create an enabling environment and provide opportunities for practical leadership and entrepreneurial experience for out of school youths in rural communities.
“Therefore, I invite all stakeholders, community and religious leaders to collaborate with us to shape a lifelong learning experience that inspires youths for purposeful living. Other good spirited individuals can also share in our concerns:
1. The need for incubation centers where learners work in teams with community leaders to create and implement solutions. Through this practical work, youth will learn to be leaders and gain a sense of urgency and ability to create social change.2. Curriculum developers should consider it a priority in modifying the content of the present system.3. Donor agencies should pay attention to visions and not just projects that have a life’s span.
” If we work together to ensure access to quality education that enriches learners and the society, learning will be more rewarding, flexible and full of entrepreneurship, then we will achieve a world of equality and shared wealth, where the potentials of youths are channeled towards society and global wellbeing.”
Hope Builders International Consult Ltd is a not-for-profit company organized exclusively for educational, scientific, community empowerment and consultancy purposes.