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January 30, 2023

Stakeholders Advocate Investment in Early Education

Uchechukwu Nnaike

Education stakeholders have called for adequate investment in early education to enable children to achieve quality output and create a better society.
This was the summary of the conversations during the April edition of EdTech Mondays, with the theme ‘Technology for Ed: Is it ever too early’.
The monthly roundtable session, an initiative of the Mastercard Foundation, in partnership with Co-Creation Hub, held virtually, featured panellists such as James Stuart, the co-founder of Onebillion; Victoria Ibiwoye, founder of One African Child; and Dr. Oluwaseun Lawal a researcher cum senior teacher with the Oyo State Teaching Service Commission.
The session was moderated by a social engineering practitioner, Joyce Daniel.
In her remarks, Ibiwoye explained that though education is still essentially free at the elementary level in Nigeria, there is still a massive divide in the number of out-of-school children.
Emphasising the role of technology in providing quality education at the developmental stage, she urged stakeholders to invest heavily in early childhood education to have a better future.
Highlighting the significance of tailor-based learning for vulnerable children, she advised stakeholders to invest in quality education responsive to their unique needs.
She added that it is important to focus on trauma-based learning in addressing some of the internal and external conflicts that children in refugee camps have had to go through instead of just getting them back to school.
Stuart, involved in the education technology space in several African countries, admitted that there are a lot of gaps in early childhood education in Nigeria, which, if left unaddressed, could pose a threat to the real opportunities available.
“Stakeholders must develop child-focused and practical education technology tools to support children’s socio-emotional needs and build their cognitive skills,” he said.
Lawal restated the need for stakeholders to invest hugely in quality education at that level to prevent higher education from being thrown into shamble.
She emphasised the significance of training and policy implementation for both teachers and the government, adding that investment in the education technology space should be devoted more to early childhood education if the country desires improved outcomes from its education system.

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