By Benedicta Apeh
What if you weren’t educated? What if you couldn’t write? What if you couldn’t do a bit of calculation? What if you couldn’t coordinate your words for lack of how to bring your thoughts together? What if you couldn’t construct a simple sentence? What if you couldn’t even read? I am sure reading this piece will be a great challenge. You will by all means be cheated in so many ways, of more knowledge or opportunities that could further advance your life. Education has made your life better, and you are already reaping its good fruits.
So, celebrating this year’s International Day of Education with the theme “to invest in people, prioritize education” readily brings to mind that education is truly an investment in one’s life and the lives of other people, and the dire need to prioritize education among other things as a major way of investing in people. The returns on a good education are enormous. It is far more beneficial than a gift of all the wealth in the world. Come to think of it, a good education makes sustaining wealth possible.
A good education is one of the greatest gifts one can give to yourself and any person. Though formal education, among all types of education, has faced a lot of challenges in the nation, and all over the world. it is still a well-known fact that the importance of a good education cannot be over-emphasized. Time and time again, we look around us, and we see those that have scaled heights, accessed big opportunities on the platform of a good education, and those that have been unable to make significant progress or are wishing for a better life but are hindered by a lack of or half-baked education. Many of us can look back and be grateful for a chance to be in the four walls of a classroom, and to have also acquired some necessary training and skills.
This tells us that education empowers, it creates a clear demarcation between the achievers and non-achievers. An education, as basic, as being able to read and write can save an individual in so many ways.
Looking around our society, though there is an influx of knowledge. Everywhere one turns, there are new things to learn, and new knowledge to acquire. As many people chase after knowledge, many others drown in illiteracy based on location, cultural factors, gender biases, poverty, wrong mindsets, unimplemented or partially implemented policies, violence and threats on the schools in various communities, etc. Very many people cannot perform the basic task of even reading or writing. So, instead of our country experiencing growth in all areas, we see that we are lagging behind in so many ways because the number of our uneducated populaces is on the increase.
According to the United Nations,
Education is a human right, a public good, and a public responsibility. Education is key to sustainable development. Education offers children a ladder out of poverty and a path to a promising future. But about 244 million children and adolescents around the world are out of school; 617 million children and adolescents cannot read and do basic math; less than 40% of girls in sub-Saharan Africa complete lower secondary school and some four million children and youth refugees are out of school. Their right to education is being violated and it is unacceptable. Without inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong opportunities for all, countries will not succeed in achieving gender equality and breaking the cycle of poverty that is leaving millions of children, youth, and adults behind. (https://www.un.org/en/observances/education-day)
Better late than never, it’s a good time to truly invest in our people, and build highly-intellectual individuals who can thrive well and impact their society. This is a call to continually invest in yourself, knowing that you are limited by what you don’t know. Beyond that, as a nation, and stakeholders of education; parents, teachers, and government, much more than ever, let’s go further to deliberately and truly invest in the lives of the younger generation so that we don’t lose our future. In whatever sphere, platform, or way, let a good education be a top priority. Let’s reach the seemingly unreached. Let’s give everyone this basic human right. As the saying goes, “Education is not preparation for life, education is life itself.” As we make education accessible to all, we give them a right to life. Without education, we take away their right and power to truly live.
That’s why at Flickers of Hope Foundation, our drive is the education of the younger generation; formal and informal. We impact children on various platforms. Our Project Back2School and Scholarship Fund have taken care of the formal and informal education of 50 children so far, since its inception in 2018. Our value orientation handbook distributed to children educates them on positive values that they should embrace. Our Teens Leadership Club is a highly educational, mentorship, and coaching platform for pre-teens and teens. We impact and invest in the lives of these children, who will go ahead to invest in others and impact their communities.
You can join us as we invest in the lives of more children. Let’s give education a chance. Let’s prioritize education. Let’s invest in people.
Happy International Day of Education 2023 from all of us at FOH!
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