Nigerian Youth Transforming Education through EdTech
The UNESCO International Institute for Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (IESALC) and Future Perspectives are partnering to launch the “Innovation to Transform Education Training” (ITET) in Nigeria, that aims to reshape education now and for future generations. Future Perspectives, a non-profit founded by the Immediate Past Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON, will work with UNESCO IESALC to equip young educational stakeholders with skills of innovation, policy and project implementation to support their role as changemakers, capable of developing and implementing their own initiatives, as well as other collective efforts to transform education .
This project is part of the capacity-building component of the United Nations Global Youth Initiative, a ground-breaking multi-stakeholder global initiative for “Youth to be equipped with policy and project implementation skills to transform education.”, operated through UNESCO Better Innovation Better Outcome (BIBO) Academy which focuses on “Youth Empowerment and Leadership”, led by UNESCO IESALC. This collaboration with UNESCO IESALC supports the vision of Future Perspectives through its leadership under Prof. Osinbajo, who stated “education must respond to the dynamism, speed of development and massive changes in society, and educators must be trained to understand the skills required to take full advantage of a world dependent on technology.”
With a keen focus on Africa, Future Perspectives is convinced that in shaping the time ahead, the voices of Africa’s youth must be prominently woven into global conversations, their participation and activism will not only create a profound impact within the region but also bring forth the invaluable perspectives of Africa to the global stage.
While the consultation process of ITET begins in July 2023, the upskilling training provided to ITET’s first cohort will take place in November 2023, gathering 50 young people from diverse sociocultural backgrounds and different connections to education in Nigeria. They include pre-service and in-service education stakeholders who are currently in higher education institutions with education-focused programs, interdisciplinary university students or practitioners who have a crossover interest or projects on education, education practitioners at national, provincial, and local levels, and youth leaders from major youth organizations based at higher education.
Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa and it is on its way to becoming the third most populous country of the world by 2050. Yet, 40 percent of Nigerians live in poverty, especially young people under 30, who account for more than two-thirds of the country’s population (The World Bank, 2022). To address these challenges by 2030, more than 40 million jobs will be needed to accommodate the youth population (The World Bank, 2016) and education would have to reinforce youth possibilities to join a labor market in rapid transformation.
This calls for initiatives such as ITET, with a focus on bridging SDG 4 (Quality Education), SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure) and addressing young people as both beneficiaries and drivers of sustainable development that leaves no one behind. As an important regional hub, organizers hope the Nigerian pilot will ignite collaborative efforts for the launching of Innovation to Transform Education Trainings in other African countries affected by similar challenges among their youth populations.
UNESCO IESALC and Future Perspectives are mutually confident that by providing Africa’s young education stakeholders with a seat at the table, ensuring their action space in the field, utilizing their collective power and equipping them with the necessary knowledge, skills and tools, Africans are poised to unleash the incredible change in education that the continent desires.
Watch the recording of the EdTech for Transforming Education in Nigeria dialogue held on July 27, 2023