Teach For Nigeria (TFN), a non-governmental organisation and global network of social enterprises working to increase access to quality education as well as expanding educational opportunities around the world has launched in Nigeria.
Chief Executive Officer of the organisation, Folawe Omikunle in her address at the launch, said the group is focused on developing a movement of leaders committed to addressing lopsidedness in the educational system across the county.
She explained that the mission of the TFN project was to recruit and train Nigeria’s best and brightest graduates coupled with young professionals of all academic disciplines to teach as full time teachers in underserved schools in poor communities.
According to her, “TFN is a two-year leadership development fellowship in which we place exceptional Nigerian university graduates and outstanding young professionals as full time teachers, to teach in underserved classrooms. Our mission is to channel more of our society’s most capable human resources against this problem of education inequity. We want to develop strong, collaborative, determined leaders who understand the root causes of inequity and are committed to challenging it.
“Our fellows would be rigorously trained and supported to improve students’ academic outcomes while also gaining the knowledge, skills, and conviction needed to effect long-term systemic change. TFN is in the start up phase and would be launching its first set of 60 fellows in Lagos and Ogun states in September 2017. Fellows would be placed in public schools and low-income private schools. We plan to expand our reach to the northern region in our second year with an addition of 72 fellows.”
She continued, “I am extremely excited to see this movement launch in Nigeria and I am looking forward to harnessing the energy and commitment of our most promising future leaders towards the fight against educational inequity. I strongly believe that the only true and sustainable path to improving educational opportunities for all children in our country is by channeling and developing our nation’s most capable human resources against this problem of educational injustice.”
On his part, Chairman of the organisation, Mr. Gbenga Oyebode explained that the programme is aimed at revolutionising education in Nigeria. He decried the disparity in the quality of education between the rich and poor which he said contributed to the rising cases of crime, poverty and injustice in the country, adding that educating all children irrespective of their socio-economic background would end the menace.
He expressed hope that the newly launched programme would bring breakthrough to the nation’s educational system.Pledging continuous partnership for the project, President, Association for Formidable Educational Development (AFED), an association of low-income schools, Mrs. Ifejola Dada, expressed hope that increasing access to education for the poor would put an end to crisis in the country.