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Stakeholders Advocate for Skills Acquisition in Primary Schools: NEDIS 2022 Education Innovation Summit

Stakeholders Advocate for Skills Acquisition in Primary Schools: NEDIS 2022 Education Innovation Summit
Recently, stakeholders from the public and private sectors gathered at The Zone in Lagos for the NEDIS 2022 Education Innovation Summit. The summit, hosted by The Education Partnership (TEP) Centre, focused on the theme “Reimagining the Future of Education in Africa: Bridging the Skills Gap.” During the event, participants discussed the importance of skills acquisition, particularly in the field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), in primary schools.
Utibe Henshaw, the Programme Coordinator for NEDIS, emphasized the significance of education in enabling children to thrive and succeed. “Our intention is to highlight the purpose of education. There is a future that will help children to thrive, not just survive,” said Henshaw. Stakeholders recognized the role that parents, guardians, communities, and corporate organizations play in supporting the education system.
The consensus among stakeholders was that skills and competences should be the primary drivers of education quality. While investing in infrastructure is essential, it should not overshadow the importance of nurturing skills and abilities in students. Henshaw emphasized the need to consider the skills that children will possess in the future. Can they communicate effectively, think critically, and solve problems? These are the questions that stakeholders aimed to address.
The summit featured panel discussions on various topics, including “Moving from ABCs to a Highly Skilled Workforce,” “Much Ado About Literacy, 21st Century Skills and Green Education,” and “Measuring Progress Towards Sustainable Development in Africa Using Learning Outcome Data.”
Dr. James Fadokun, the Technical Lead on Governance of Non-state Systems at the Partnership for Learning for All in Nigeria (PLANE) program, expressed concern about the large number of private schools, particularly in northern Nigeria, compared to public schools. This situation poses challenges in terms of teaching and learning, as well as teacher availability.
Fadokun highlighted the learning crisis in the north, specifically in Kano, where there are approximately 23,000 private schools, outnumbering the public schools. This disparity has implications for classroom capacity, pupil-teacher ratio, and overall quality of education. To address this issue, Fadokun suggested that the government recruit more teachers and utilize social networks to harness available capacity and improve the pupil-teacher ratio.
Mr. Owolabi Falana, a permanent board member of the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), shared the board’s efforts to digitize the teaching and learning process. He emphasized the need for African governments to revise their curricula to align with their focus areas and develop purpose-driven educational programs.
Adekanla Adegoke, the Head of the Oando Foundation, and Tonia Uduimoh, the Programme Manager, stressed the importance of education in national development and emphasized the need for rapid innovation in the private sector to drive positive transformation.
The NEDIS 2022 Education Innovation Summit provided a platform for stakeholders to discuss and advocate for skills acquisition in primary schools. By prioritizing the development of relevant skills and competences, particularly in ICT, stakeholders are working towards bridging the skills gap and preparing students for the future. The collaboration between public and private sectors is crucial in driving meaningful change in education and ensuring a brighter future for all children in Nigeria.


The Education Partnership (TEP)​ Centre Summit
Enene Ejembi is a Strategic Communications Lead at PLANE.