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“Edo summit examines Nigeria’s education issues”
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“Edo summit examines Nigeria’s education issues”

Musa TemidayoA summit on Nigeria’s education issues gave Musa Temidayo, 25, a Commonwealth Correspondent from Nigeria, opportunity to discuss policy and to experience a different part of the country.

I recently learned the happy news that I would be leading the crusade of the Global Youth Ambassador (GYA) #UpForSchool preliminary launch in Nigeria’s Edo State.

So, I got set to attend the Edo Children Summit on Education and Social Development in Benin City, Edo State.  This w0uld be my first time of taking education envagelism to the South-south of Nigeria. But nevertheless, I am so anxious to be there and experience Edo City in the company of other GYAs from A World At School.

Since it is not possible for me to book a flight to Benin City from Osun State where I was, I had to let go of #5,500 to transport me to Benin City in a period clouded with rise in petrol price. The journey was not all that smooth, thanks to my stomach that required stopping the car at every possible local government area.

On getting to Benin City – Okuku to be precise – stepping outside the car and walking for a few minutes to get a taxi, I could not but ponder upon the reason this state is referred to as the heartbeat of the nation. The taxi driver, who had a good knowledge of Yoruba language plus the local Benin dialect, played some Benin songs that even at the point of writing this note I am still humming in my head.

I was listed to coordinate the #UpForSchool launch and also to give a paper on the need for education and gender equality in the 21st century. The event was graced by many stakeholders in education in Edo State, and by students from various schools in the state. It featured five plenary sessions, which started after the official launching of #UpForSchool campaign and the Edo State Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Child Development and Education.

The first plenary session was on The Year 2015 and Beyond – Ending Poverty, Hunger, Infant and Mother Deaths. The speakers did a thorough job of giving statistics and a workable frame on how these issues can be conquered by the year 2030. At the end this session, an appeal was made to State government representatives to effect these policy recommendations put forward by the speakers.

The second session was on Access to Qualitative Education and Protection from Violence. From what I learnt, I can categorically say that the level of qualitative education in Edo State is far better – and very promising – when compared to other states in the country. On protection from violence, a speaker who goes by the name Samuel delivered his paper alongside his fellow using sign language. After their paper was delivered, everybody in the arena could not help but stand up and appreciate these two individuals. They made an observation that the state does not have an effective way of reporting violence, and that’s why many cases of local violence go unreported.

The third session was on Human Rights and Gender Equalities issues. Participants tackled a great number of issues under these topics. A female speaker pointed out that gender inequalities start right from the classroom. She said that is why boys have their names written with blue pen first on the school register, only to be followed by the girls’ names in red colour. She explained that this connotes the fact the girls are in danger. She did good work on the reason why there should be a rethinking of women’s position in the society. A very good counter-argument was presented by a male participant, who claims that the whole gospel of feminism is becoming too aggressive, therefore making the so-called feminist to appear to be like a misandrist, which in turn is an injustice that requires its own sphere of discussion.

At the end of the summit, the representatives of the state government made a call for a follow-up summit to see how far the policy recommendations are being put to work.

Special thanks to A World At School, Mercy Robinson Foundation, National Youth Council of Nigeria (Edo Chapter) and other partners that supported the Edo Children Summit Project.

photo credit: IMG_20110818_120839 via photopin (license)

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About me: I am from Nigeria, currently studying International Relations at Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife Osun state. I’m also the Editor-in- Chief for the department. I love travelling and singing, and have  interest in Management and Developmental Issues.

Aside from studying, I work as as the Chairman of my department’s magazine. I want to be a Manager-Human Resource & Conflict Management, and also hope to serve in the Nigerian foreign service.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response.
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

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