By Jacob Sule, #TeachSDGs Ambassador
This summary captures a one day programme, interactive dialogue at the workshop on Educating and Activating Children for SDGs in Nigeria which took place on the 8th of November, 2018 in Abuja, Nigeria.
The event brought together some government chief officers from the office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on the SDGs, delegates from the Federal Ministry of Education, Universal Basic Education Commission, National Union of Teachers, National Teachers Institute, Civil societies and Non- profit organizations, Youths and Educators from various states in Nigeria.
The workshop began with opening remarks by World Largest Lesson Director, Alison Bellwood alongside Stephanie Mason, Global partnership manager, the representative of the Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on the SDGs in Nigeria, and continued with brief remarks from the Federal Ministry of Education, British Council representative, UNICEF, non-profits organizations, and youth leaders. It concluded with a set of presentations from other international agencies working on the SDGs in Nigeria.
Session 1: Welcome and Opening Statements
Opening the workshop, World Largest Lesson’ Director Alison Bellwood highlighted the need to develop and engage children in Nigeria to develop innovative learning tools and inspire citizens to take action around the Global Goals. Also, a focus was presented to propose and discuss a collaborative effort to deliver a week of SDG learning across Nigeria in 2019 during which all children in upper primary and lower secondary school take part in SDGs learning activities.
Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on the SDGs represented by Dr. Bala Yunusa made his presentation on the progress, efforts on data harmonization, and national collaboration with all stakeholders working around the Global Goals in order to create citizen engagement in the implementation of the SDGs Targets. The office has produced the SDGs in major Nigerian Languages which ready for launch. Several educational materials and activities have also been created around the goals and made available for taking action.
Representative from the Federal Ministry of Education underscored the growing needs and engagement of teachers in ensuring that they are well exposed to the SDGs Goals and are working around the goals with designed curriculum.
Session 2: Interactive Sessions
Delegates identified barriers to success and generated solutions to the 2019 SDG Week learning in Nigeria, amongst the delegates who made presentations during the session was Sule Jacob, TeachSDGs Ambassador in Nigeria. He highlighted several barriers such as lack of political will by government, difference in states educational policies, insecurity challenges, corruption, and poor funding. He however pitched some solutions which included proper sensitization and awareness about the Global Goals through the use of mass media and social media, steering committee to include private actors, civil societies and government officials to create synergy, adequate incentives for volunteers, favourable government policies and stability of government due to the forthcoming general election in February 2019.
Proposed dates were identified for the launch of the SDG week in Nigeria; tentatively October 2019 was unanimously agreed because school activities are less demanding and students will not be preparing for any sort of examination within this time.
Session 3: Plan for Leadership and Co-ordination
There were robust discussions and dialogue between the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on the SDGs and Federal Ministry of Education with respect to leadership and co-ordination of the SDG week in 2019. Various organizations made fantastic submissions as to the need to having a clear cut leadership void of politicking so as to achieve the desired results.
Session 4: Closing Remarks
Stephanie Mason, Global Partnership Manager, World Largest Lesson conveyed her gratitude to all participants. She extended her thanks to the Government of Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Education, and stakeholders for their efforts in promoting the SDG; she expressed her satisfaction with the various youth advocacies and congratulated participants on the extensive networking that had taken place which she hoped would continue going forward.
This summary was presented by TeachSDGs Ambassador in Nigeria - Sule Jacob.