Bridge Nigeria reiterates the need for quality education and is driving the provision of quality education to millions of children irrespective of their social or economic background.
In commemorating this year’s World Children’s Day with the theme ‘Inclusion, for every child’, Bridge International Academies, the world’s largest operator of technology-enabled schools serving families and governments in emerging markets joined the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in advocating for an inclusive world for children.
Speaking on World Children’s Day, the Managing Director of Bridge International Academies Nigeria, Foyinsola Akinjayeju said: “The theme for this year’s World Children’s Day goes to the heart of what we do here at Bridge – providing access to quality education, which is the right of every child. Our community schools are places of equal opportunity for every child and promote equity across gender, household income and family circumstances among other factors.”
“Our mission at Bridge – to provide millions of children with life-changing education, drives what we do, so that children have the platform and the support to break out of generational limitations, and are set on a pathway to a brighter and more prosperous future, beyond what their parents achieved. That to us is inclusion. It is why schools should exist, that is to assist children to fulfil their potential and to give them a chance at an economically-secure future even if they were born into disadvantaged situations. Since 2015 when we opened our first schools in Nigeria, we have leveraged technology to drive standardised and effective teaching and also adopt a holistic methodology comprising the robust use of data, adaptive lessons/content and continuous monitoring for improvement. All these drive the dramatic learning gains we are witnessing among our pupils as illustrated by a recent report released by Nobel Prize-winning economist, Michael Robert Kremer – Solutions to Learning Poverty (2022),” she added.
“Inclusion also means that every child of school age should be in school”. Akinjayeju added. According to a report by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), as of October 2022, about 20 million children are out of school in Nigeria. “This report tells us that there is a lot of work to be done and that is why we are calling for collective action to put children back to school. One way to achieve this is through scholarship and sponsorship programmes for willing pupils whose parents, due to financial difficulty, cannot send their children to school. Individuals and corporates can learn more about what Bridge is doing in this regard and how they can partner to put children in school by visiting the website www.bridge.sch.ng,” she noted
Somto Ifemnacho, a Primary 6 pupil in one of Bridge International Academies’ forty-six schools said one thing that saddens her is the fact that there are so many children on the streets who are not in school. She said this happens because their parents can not afford their fees or for other reasons best known to them. She also added that children face discrimination at different levels. She said, “I would like to use this opportunity to call on everyone to say no to discrimination among children because every child is special.”
World Children’s Day is an annual day of action for children, by children. It is a time to address issues ranging from climate change, education and mental health, to ending racism and discrimination. It is also a perfect opportunity for children and young people to raise their voices on the issues that matter to their generation and also call for adults to create a better future.