Teach-for-Nigeria Fellows Charged to Bridge Inequity in Education

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Sunday Okobi

The Chief Executive Officer of Teach-for-Nigeria (TFN), Miss Folawe Omikunle has called on its fellows to bridge the gap created by policy somersault by successive governments in the country, to reposition the standard of education in
schools.

Speaking at the induction ceremony in Lagos recently, she noted that solving the problem of educational inequity in Nigeria, needs a critical mass of leaders working at every level of the education system leading and effecting true systemic change.

“We need inspired and motivated young leaders from different academic disciplines to canvass and act for excellence in improving the standards in the country. We are convinced that by preparing and equipping these groups of future leaders to take responsibility for producing an impact in high-need schools, accelerated change is inevitable.”
Omikunle said TFN is committed to ensuring that every Nigerian child has access to an excellent education regardless of gender, economic or social background.

TFN fellowship, a two-year educational intervention and leadership programme, was launched in February 2017; it is a non-profit organisation working to expand educational opportunities in Nigeria through the deployment of exceptional graduates in underserved schools.

According to her, “Over the course of the next two years, you will be experiencing the most challenging but rewarding journey of your lives, with a program that has been designed to challenge you and develop your leadership capacity to be successful leaders in the fight against educational inequality in Nigeria.”
Omikunle noted also that TFN received a total of 12,009 applications this year and after a rigorous selection process that lasted four months, 48 applicants were chosen for the fellowship.

She explained that the fellows would begin with an intensive six-week training to prepare them for their new life in the classroom before they are posted to schools in Lagos and Ogun States respectively for the 2017/2018 academic session.

In his remark, the Chairman of the organisation, Mr. Gbenga Oyebode, highlighted the dire situation at hand, adding that “in the next 20 years, Nigeria will be the largest country in the world. If we don’t address educational inequality now, we are doomed as a nation.”

Pledging support for Teach-for-Nigeria, the Chairman of the Association of Private Educators in Nigeria (APEN), Dr. Femi Ogunsanya, commended TFN for their timely intervention, adding, “It’s time we changed the narrative and restore the dignity of teachers and of education at large.”

SWIFT, in its goodwill message reiterated its belief in good education as the foundation of a society. The organisation which already supports several members of the Teach for All network expressed its joy in adding Nigeria to the list.
In March this year, TFN became an affiliate of Teach For All, making her the 42nd country to join the global network which comprises Teach For China, Teach For Ghana and Teach First UK, among others.

Other supporters of the initiative include Pershing Square Foundation, Grace Lake Partners, Association of Private Educators in Nigeria (APEN) and Greensprings School.