• Monday, May 20, 2024
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NGO advocates global citizenship education for Nigerians

NGOs (1)

Blessing Oluchukwu Awamba, founder of Change a Child Community Initiative, a non-governmental organisation, has said excellent reading and writing skills are not enough to create a sustainable community, stressing that students in Nigeria must be taught global citizenship education.

Awamba, who spoke in Lagos at a workshop themed: ‘Peace, Sustainability and I,’ tasked parents with supporting children interested in transforming their communities, saying the proof of quality education in the global age was learning for sustainable development.

She said it was important for children to learn about diversity, and mutual respect for people and their environment, adding that it would shape their worldview and create a sustainable future for Nigeria. According to her, a changed child can positively change his community.

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Awamba said: “Students have to learn not just reading and writing, numeracy or literacy, they have to also learn how to be responsible members of the community. The entire essence of this event is for the pupils present to learn beyond the classroom.

“It is for them to learn how they can be responsible, not just for them, but the community at large. They have to learn to actively contribute to their community’s development, like our slogan. When one child is changed, that child can change the community.

“When one community is changed, the community can change the entire world. After this training, we believe that these children will go back to their streets to influence them. They will influence Ajegunle as a whole, and from Ajegunle to Nigeria. From there to the global community.”

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On the objective of the event, the founder of the NGO said it was to bring children together, especially those from a marginalised community like Ajegunle.

“To bring them together and discuss how our collective actions affect the community. We brought them together to let them know how important they are individually and collectively and how important their voices are to peace and sustainability in our community. We have chosen children because they are the future. If we speak to people who are 50 and 60, they do not have such a long time to pass on that knowledge.

“We chose children because they would learn for themselves and influence their peers. Acquiring this knowledge at a young age shapes how they view the world.

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“They are learning about diversity and mutual respect for people and their environment. It would shape the way they see the world, thus making for a sustainable future for Nigeria,” Awamba said.

On her advice to parents, she said: “They should ensure that their kids are not just learning how to read and how to write. Reading and writing are very important, but that is not what quality education is all about.

“Quality education includes learning for sustainable development, and global citizenship education. Education has to lead towards a goal, and what is that goal? Sustainable development.”

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Meanwhile, a student of Highstone College in Lagos, Obiora Blessed, who was part of the workshop, said: “He learnt that as a global citizen, he should always advocate for dialogue in the face of problems. I learnt that we should not equate going to school with learning because learning continues daily.

“I also learnt that we have to respect people’s rights, culture and ways of life. And to implement what I have been taught today, I have to first improve on myself. I need to embrace the habit of dialogue, I need to constantly sue for peace in the face of violence.”

Edet Goodness, a student of Topfield College in Lagos, on her part, said: “I learnt about being a global citizen. I learnt about the importance and the meaning of global citizen education. With this training, I am now working towards respecting people’s rights and learning to dialogue at all times.”