His Excellency, Professor Yemi Osinbajo San Gcon, the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, today launched the ambitious World Education Week – a six-day online global education showcase with over 85,000 registered online attendees in 146 countries – with a rallying cry supporting education’s key position as the foundation for bringing countries out of poverty.
Today’s launch plenary, watched by a global online audience, featured speeches by global educational leaders such as WEW founder Vikas Pota; Jaime Saavedra, the Global Director for Education at The World Bank; Andreas Schleicher, the Director for Education & Skills at the OECD; further governmental ministers of Education from Ghana, the Philippines and David Edwards, General Secretary of Education International – all of whom shared their visions of accelerating progress toward the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Professor Osinbajo’s speech welcomed the conference and applauded its ambitions:
“I commend all the organizers and partners for the World Education Week forum – the schools and teachers worldwide, exchanging innovative ideas on how to solve our global educational challenges. This forum will strengthen the efforts of governments to catalyse the collective attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.
“We cannot talk about delivering quality education in today’s world without rethinking our models and leveraging on technology; and rethinking our education curricula to give students the relevant knowledge and skills to make them active contributors in today’s economy.”
Osinbajo’s keynote continued that quality of education is key since it is a predictor of a nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) – arguing that poor education policies and practices lose economic output, threatening to create a permanent state of economic backwardness. Increasing education and skills can boost a lower-income country’s GDP by 28% over the next 80 years, he estimated. As a result of that challenge, he added:
“The Nigerian government has made huge investments in education to achieve equitable education. We are meeting the challenges of increasing number of out-of-school children; infrastructure inadequacies; teacher shortages; and leveraging on technology and digital learning.
“If we resolve the education challenge, we will be on the right path to solving our poverty challenge.”
The ground-breaking World Education Week event, featuring over 150 speakers and presentations to an audience of tens of thousands, is led by Vikas Pota, a globally-respected leader and driving force in the education, international development, philanthropy and technology sectors.
In launching the event, Mr Pota said:
“I am incredibly inspired by the schools that applied to take part in this year’s World Education Week. Their commitment to improving the life chances of their learners by nurturing expertise and wanting to share their experience with others, especially in these challenging times, says a lot about the global education community. They are our heroes and World Education Week provides us all an opportunity not just to learn from them, but to celebrate their successes, too.
“By sharing the ways in which these schools have developed their expertise, we can encourage others to feel inspired to undertake the same journey to excellence. That is a real and tangible way in which World Education Week can accelerate progress on achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals”.
All participating schools have been hand-picked for their expertise across a range of educational themes, such as enhancing employability and life-skills; deepening family and community engagement; the use of technology; a focus on wellbeing; and promoting the science of learning and teaching. Centred on the theme of ‘Learning Today’, each school will host a virtual event to demonstrate to thousands of other educators how to bring change, based on their own experiences.
Six Nigerian schools will play key roles in the inaugural showcase from 5-9th October:
- the Dream Catchers Academy in Ikorodu, Lagos
- the Christ Anglican Primary school in Ijebu-Ife
- the LGEA Kurmin Mashi school in Kaduna
- the Local Government School III in Sango Ota
- the Baptist Primary School in Ogbogbo
- the Ikangba Erinlu United Anglican Primary School