Random Musings #2: The Power of Education to Transform Our Society.

It is unfortunate and ironic that Education, which the terrorist group Boko Haram, fights against, is exactly the weapon needed to transform the nation, especially Northern Nigeria. In a lot of the Inter-Faith dialogues, conferences and leadership trainings, it becomes glaring and very sad to see how terribly a lot of Northerners have been oppressed by their own Northern leaders.

Southern leaders are also guilty of diverting resources meant for the citizens to their personal pockets, however, on the issue of education, there’s still a huge gap between the North and South (with the former at a bigger disadvantage).

These leaders send their children to the best Ivy league universities in the world and yet leave most of their constituents impoverished and uneducated. A child should not be on the street begging (whether in the North or South), a 13 year old belongs in school and should be allowed to be a ‪#‎ChildNotBride.‬

This should be our collective responsibility as a community, either by engaging directly with causes that address these issues or by holding our leaders accountable to higher standards. In the spirit of International Women’s Day, please consider empowering a young girl (and boy) today, educate a girl in your community, contribute to improve the standards in your alma mater, mentor someone….do something!

I may not agree with a lot of El Rufai’s philosophies and politics, however, I am excited and hopeful at the possibility of an El Rufai governorship win. He has been consistent in supporting and advocating quality education for Northern youths (especially girls), and his lovely wives also seem to share this vision too.

‪#‎BeyondPolitics‬ ‪#‎AddressingRootCauses‬ Regardless of who wins the upcoming presidential elections in Nigeria, some positive policies and effective officials/ministers should be retained (I’ve previously written about the suggestion of retaining the current minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, because of his effective handling of his portfolio).

In the end our nation outlives the different political parties and the overall welfare of the citizens should be paramount to all. Regardless of our political affiliations, it is important to rise above personal/selfish gains and consider the public/common good. Thus, let us learn to acknowledge and commend promising programs or policies, growth and progress wherever we find it. This, above all, should be the hallmark of democracy.

In this vein, I’d like to highlight two positive programs initiated by this Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s (GEJ) administration with respect to education:

1. The establishment of Almajiri Schools/Tsangaya Schools in the North
The Tsangaya model Schools ensures the integration of the elements of basic education into the Qur’anic Schools system, and consequently integrate into the UBE Programme.

2. The establishment of a dedicated program to increase/enhance Boy-Child Education. This is aimed at integrating the out of School boys in the South-East and South-South Geo- Political Zones into the UBE Programme. The SE and SS zones have more girls in schools than boys as a lot of boys drop out and pursue business/trade. Join us tomorrow (March 4, 2015), for a Twitter Chat using hashtag ‪#‎LetsTalkEducation‬ Time 9.30 am to 10 am EST @wholewomaninc @julietkego

Love, Light & Truth!

Juliet ‘Kego Ume-Onyido

Co-Founder, Whole Woman Network

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