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Nigerian Education Summit debuts, Experts launch LEARNigeria Project

By Development Diaries

As part of efforts to improve access to quality education in Nigeria, The Every Nigerian Child Project (ENCP) in partnership with The Education Partnership Centre (TEP Centre) has hosted the inaugural edition of the Nigerian Education Summit. The summit held on Monday March 16, 2015 at the Protea Hotel, Ikoyi Westwood in Lagos, Nigeria.

The summit which was themed: 'Improving Education Quality: The Role of Accountability', also saw the launch of the 'LEARNigeria' project, a new Citizen-led Survey of Learning. The survey is designed to generate data on the foundational literacy and numeracy skills that Nigerian children possess using the household initiative. The data generated will not only strengthen education policymaking but also equip a wide array of education sector stakeholders with information and techniques for improving learning outcomes in Nigeria.

According to the Chairman, Steering Committee, LEARNigeria, Mr. Foluso Phillips, “The Nigerian Education Summit is poised to become the main annual education event in Nigeria's calendar, bringing together all cadres of education sector stakeholders”.

The Summit brought together cross-sectoral stakeholders in the education sector to discuss and deliberate on how to improve the quality of the education system in Nigeria by holding everyone accountable at all levels. It also stimulated constructive discourse on how public and private sector organisations can individually and collaboratively work to improve planning, monitoring and evaluation in the education sector as well as stimulate the production of high-quality data in the education sector.

Former Minister of Education and Ex-Vice President of the World Bank, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili stated that, “The best way to tackle accountability in the education sector is not to generalize but to take individual ownership. Citizens need to be activated to the responsibility of improving education quality, to realize that it is a collective responsibility”.

Citing the Freedom of Information Bill, the representative of Dr. Macjohn Nwaobiala, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education remarked that citizens need to demand more from their leaders in terms of accountability. Dr. Kole Shettima of MacArthur Foundation expressed optimum of a future where the quality of education will determine winning or losing elections in Nigeria. He stated, “If my child cannot read, you (politician) do not get my vote”.

Stakeholders represented at the summit included the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Education, National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, Civil Society Action Coalition on Education for All, CSACEFA, Nigeria Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC), Department for International Development, DfID, MacArthur Foundation, Incubator Africa, Paradigm Initiatiative Nigeria, Save the Children, UNICEF, and Enough-is-Enough (EiE).

Keynote speaker at the event, Dr. Sara Ruto, of the Centre for Learning Assessments International remarked that Nigeria has now joined a growing network of nine countries implementing similar citizen-led national assessments of learning. Referring to the model of the survey which is currently implemented in countries like India, Pakistan, Kenya, Senegal and Mexico, she said this model shows that everyone can be a researcher.

Speaking on the rationale for the LEARNigeria survey, TEP Centre Managing Director, Dr. Modupe Adefeso-Olateju, noted that LEARNigeria would help Nigerians better understand the impact of the country's in education. Representing ENCP, Dr. Ifechukwu Nnatuanya and Mr. Gori-Olusina-Daniel added that improving learning outcomes begins with a clear understanding of where children are, with regards to foundational literacy and numeracy.

About The Education Partnership Centre (TEP Centre)

TEP Centre is Nigeria's pioneer education partnership consultancy, specialising in the design, implementation, support and evaluation of multi-sectoral partnership programmes in education. It has been identified that across sub-Saharan Africa, one of the key challenges to attaining key goals of access, quality and equity in education is the limited participation of the non-state sector in the funding, provision and management of education.

Email: [email protected], Website: www.tepcentre.com, Twitter: @tepcentre


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