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OPINION : Transformational Education: Preparedness Meets Opportunity BY Kebe Ikpi

Mr. Kebe Ikpi

Today is International Youth Day #InternationalYouthDay, #IYD2019. The theme for this year’s event is #TransformingEducation.

Today is a day to draw attention to the bedrock of development (education). Quality education is the (open) secret of developed economies. The burden of future development usually lies on the younger generation. If they are not prepared for that future, it will happen to them like a surprise

There is a need to invest in the education of young people. A nation that does otherwise will be bankrupt when tomorrow comes.

According to the Revised National Youth Policy of Nigeria, 2019, a youth is someone who is in the age bracket 15 to 29 years. These young people are usually the most active. If this demography is neglected, it will be at everyone’s peril.

Beyond building beautiful schools or nerve centres for 21st century education, opportunities should be given to young people to learn the art of Governance.

Confucius said, “I hear I forget, I see I remember, I do I understand.” Benjamin Franklin renders it as “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”

Young people should also be willing to take opportunities to volunteer seriously. The easiest way to climb to the top, dear young people, is to offer free services as much as you can. You will gain experience for which you can get paid for in the nearest future.

It will be great to see volunteer CEOs (working with established CEOs), Commissioners, Special Advisers, Special Assistants, etc; young people whose aim is to gain experience (not immediate monetary gains) and contribute to nation building in their little way.

I am not against monetising your skill(s), dear young people. By all means please do. For some, the path to greatness and self satisfaction is in offering free services today. Youth know thyself and follow your path.

While volunteering is an ideal way of gaining experience and putting into practice what one has been taught in school, the purpose will be defeated if the curriculum is not in synch with current realities.

There is a lot to be done if we must get it right. I hope that this year’s #InternationalYouthDay provides the opportunity for us to right our wrongs. It is better late than never.

Kebe Ikpi is the Programmes Manager,
Basic Rights Counsel Initiative (BRCI).

Please follow Kebe on Twitter @KebeIkpi.
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