Stakeholders at the on-going Global Education and Skills Forum (GESF) have advocated for inclusive opportunities and qualitative education for children in less developing countries of Africa and other parts of the world.
At the opening plenary session on Saturday, a former Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gilliard said a time has come for political leaders to kick-start dialogue with their respective communities on how to make educational opportunities available to children at all strata. She said notwithstanding a number of challenges that confront the people such that many are now turning inward and simply look after them, the developed world still owe it a duty to assist children in the less developed countries to have the same access to qualitative education their children have.
“There is a need to get everybody on board. Political leadership and the communities must engage one another. There is a way that communities can make political buy into their ideas and that is very important in this situation,” Gilliard said.
Also, an actress and United Nations Children Funds (UNICEF) ambassador, Priyanka Chopra said children by the virtue of their geographic location should not be denied access to qualitative education.
“Education empowers people. But what I’m worried about is currently going on in the world. We are still separated by languages and borders. We seem to be restricted. For me, it doesn’t matter where a child comes from, either in Sierra Leone or Nigeria, Syria or Afghanistan, they should be made to have access to qualitative education,” Chopra said.
Similarly, the Chairman of the Varkey Foundation, Sunney Varkey said as educators, stakeholders must combine efforts to teach values to children. “We think the world is in chaos. But as educators, it is our duty to ensure children are well educated and we also teach them values. We must do everything that would enhance the education of the children,” he said.
The Ghanaian Minister for Education, Mathew Prempeh said the national government is aware of the fact that there are more girls than boys in government and as such has placed premium on education of the girl child especially those who are of school age but are out of the education system.
Prempeh also disclosed that the Ghanaian Ministry of Education is about to kick-start a new partnership with the Varkey Foundation which aims at improving the skills of thousands of school leaders across Ghana. He said the partnership which will build on the Varkey Foundation’s four years of work in Ghana and its teacher and school leadership training programmes in Argentina and Uganda, will address the Ministry’s priority of training all in-service and aspiring school leaders to be able to manage their schools effectively.
“The programme, funded by the Global Partnership for Education and implemented by the Varkey Foundation, will combine intensive face-to-face training to school leaders with supported periods back in school to apply new practices, with core training modules which are designed to create leaders with the skills and competencies to drive continuous school improvement.
“The programme is scheduled to commence in June 2018 and will impact over 6,000 school leaders and the students they are responsible for in the first four years alone. It will operate from three hubs, allowing teachers across all ten regions to access high quality training,” Varkey Foundation also stated in a statement.
Earlier, a former Sierra Leonean child-soldier, Mohamed Sidibay who used his own experience as a casenarrated the ordeal of children who are being left behind in having access to qualitative education . He thus called on global education stakeholders to do something fast to ensure that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of United Nations are realisable.
“If we keep denying a child from Nigeria to Kenya, Myanmar to Syria, Yemen access to qualitative education, then by 2030 (SDG by UN), the world will not be a safe place,” Sidibay said.