As the world marks the 2022 edition of the United Nations’ The International Day of Education today, Monday, January 24, with theme, “Changing Course, Transforming Education”, a social change initiative, A Mother’s Love Initiative, has joined in the celebration having in mind the role of education for peace and development across nations.
The A Mother’s Love Initiative’s current mission and activities concern the hurried child syndrome and practices in Africa that emphasises the need to focus on the social and emotional components of learning in strengthening and reviving education in the formal and informal sectors.
Consequent upon the impact of COVID-19 on the educational system, the orgnaisation believes that it is important to reiterate the significance of giving attention to the physical and mental health of children and educators within the educational system.
The organisation is also of the opinion that there are stress related events associated with the pandemic that have impacted the learning trajectory and need not be catalysed by the practices of hurrying at the school level.
Based on the foregoing, A Mother’s Love Initiative is celebrating the International Day of Education by focusing on the Theme: “Beyond Academic Achievement: Social and Emotional Learning in Enhancing the Quality of School Life”. This theme speaks to the growing concerns about reduced physical and social interactions permeating the new generation school system in Nigeria.
Speaking on the relevance of the theme, Legal Adviser/Press Secretary for A Mother’s Love Initiative, Mr. Uchechukwu Michael Ginika, explained that the A Mother’s Love Initiative’s theme for this day speaks to the overall quality of life of the Nigerian Child within the educational system in Nigeria while explaining that these issues can be discussed under five different levels.
“At the individual (child) level, social and emotional learning helps the individual adjust to the demands or pressures that arise from developmental changes and societal expectations. At the home level, parents have to be aware of the need to support the healthy educational development of their children by creating a healthy home climate for learning to take place in the home,” Ginika noted.
Speaking on the second level, he said: “At the school level, educators and school managers must understand the importance of unstructured play and extracurricular activities in ensuring a child grows in the cognitive, social and emotional domains of development.”
The next level he mentioned was the community level, noting that, “religious and community stakeholders must champion the culture of collectivism as a form of social support to education in the semi-formal and informal sectors of the economy while at the government level, he said,”we advocate that government agencies and ministries at the federal, state and local level review and enforce policies that will curb the excesses of private and public.”
Elucidating further on the value added by the A Mother’s Love Initiative’s Action, he further explained that the proposed campaign is expected to increase the awareness of the mass public towards the essence of social and emotional development towards producing a functional adult in the society.
Also, it is expected that the actions of A Mother’s Love Initiative will enhance the engagement of non-state actors in building the advocacy level to a critical mass that gains the attention of the government and international actors towards promoting practices that ensure the total development of the Nigerian child
Ginika explained that it is expected that the actions of A Mother’s Love Initiative will also increase the engagements of key actors in the government in reviewing existing policies and enforcing them to ensure that educational institutions deliver on the mandate to the Nigerian Child.