Dupe Oni is a renowned educator and stateswoman. She is one of the very few women who have helped shape society we live in today, using the most powerful tool available: Education.
Dupe saw the 21st-century shift in perspective about education and technology as a tool to socio-economic relevance in the evolving digital space, which opened opportunities for people in the tech-compliant space, and she’s been at the forefront of the campaign for digital skills.
She is one of the most influential female educators who are changing the game through exclusively brilliant ideas, innovations, and advocacy for interactive academics.
Dupe Oni is providing quality education to the children through her early learning program. She has been doing this for the past 23 years and has managed to build a world-class citadel of learning in the heart of Lekki, in Lagos.
She believed in the idea that children should be able to shape their future in their own ways. She also believed that they should be sent to school from an early age to learn and acquire skills for a better life.
Dupe Oni being the Executive Director of Standard Bearer School, an early learning institution where academic and creative talents were given similar priorities located in Lekki, recently spoke on the urgent need to revisit, review and reshape Nigeria’s curriculum to align with the fast-evolving Industrial Revolution, so as for Nigerian children to be relevant in the global space vis-à-vis the out-phasing conventional work pattern that characterizes Nigeria’s curriculum. According Oni, ‘our children spend too much time doing irrelevant things. Private sector pampered kids. The public sector doesn’t have enough exposure, resources are not available.
‘I privilege to get an invitation to attend a symposium, Agbamisin, and I don’t know why I picked myself up and went, but it was one of the best things that happened to me because Agbamisin was a symposium held by a foundation and it was for secondary school children in the public school system. I got there and I thought, ‘well, I’m here’ I’m sure there are some new things I’m supposed to learn here.
‘And so it turns out that it was the finals of a competition where these children were given the task of finding solutions to problems, within their communities, exactly the same thing Technovation offered to us.
‘But this time, it wasn’t an App, but the solution was to build a prototype. When these children started presenting, my mind was blown. Their English wasn’t as perfect as the private school child will come and present, but their ideas were brilliant. And I was amazed.
‘And I realized that talent lies everywhere in Nigeria, and perhaps our biggest mistake was separating the two school systems. And that we have to bring back, because, Private school children will learn from the energy and the drive from the focus of the child who knows that he is driven because he wants to drive himself out of his current state into a better place.
‘The public school child will equally learn something from the private school child, who is looking at how he has to behave and what society expects from him as an achiever in his future. Separating them has denied them of that quality of learning that is intrinsic, but needs to take place.
‘It’s not good enough that our children are going out in cars and are having a good time, there are lessons to be learned on the road of life, and in the street of life. If we can’t take them through the streets, we should allow them to have some contact in schools with children from that category and in doing that, they will get wise.
‘Many children will say to you; I don’t need help I can do it by myself. No. nobody wants that kind of person in employment. They want people who can sit down, who can bring ideas to the table. At the end of the day, the superior idea would emerge.
‘So when you talk about preparing the Nigerian children for the future, the future is actually here. What we fear, what we expect is already here. We are living in the 21st century, and so the future is now. So everything, we need to do it now. The is a desperate need to change the mindset of our children.
Comparing Nigeria being one of the very few countries that have a strong private school system, she said the countries that are doing mighty things; they are doing it on the strength of their public school system. Finland doesn’t have a private school system, yet they are number one. Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, China; they don’t have. But the shift has moved from America. But America has a lot of Private schools but they have seen the mistakes now, which are why Chatty schools are merging in America, which is like a way to bridge it. I know that we have to work together. We have to bring our children together for a better Nigeria. We have to create an environment where learning comes first and lineal status takes the back seat.