The Executive Directors of FlexiSAF Foundation and Illmi Children’s Fund on the 30th of March 2022 signed a Memorandum of Understanding geared toward the success of an advocacy-based sports event in selected public and private schools in Abuja. The event which is slated to hold on the 28th of May 2022 in commemoration of this year’s Children’s Day will create an avenue for primary and secondary school students to showcase their talent in a fun and recreational atmosphere whilst using the opportunity to emphasize the importance of qualitative and inclusive basic education.
“We are excited about this event and the platform it will give young Nigerians. We can’t wait to discover the next sporting stars,” said Ms. Maryam Augie-Abdulmumin, Founder/Executive Director at Illmi Children’s Fund. According to the World Bank Report 2018, more than 60% of the children enrolled in Nigerian primary and secondary schools are in school but not learning. Globally, Nigeria also faces the biggest shortage of teachers, accounting for 12% of the global figure. It is interesting to note that many of these challenges, including teacher capacity, are linked to the public as opposed to private schools, and if not properly tackled, will put millions of Nigerian children at a huge educational disadvantage. Also, there is a need to bridge the widening disparities between private and public schools and their attendant effects on access to education. Thus, beyond the policy cum intellectual solutions to fixing these issues and the advocacy currently in place to push for the enrollment of more out-of-school children in Nigeria, there is an obvious demand to look at other means (including recreation) to bring these matters to the fore.
“We believe in the power of advocacy in bringing about tangible societal changes. We are hopeful that this event will offer us a safe and friendly space to get our message across to policymakers and stakeholders in the education sector” said Mrs. Amina Abubakar, the Executive Director of FlexiSAF Foundation.
The two organizations will partner with key stakeholders in Government, Corporate Organizations, International NGOs, Embassies, and Small and Medium Scale Enterprises to bring to the fore the urgency of prioritizing qualitative basic education for national development and security.