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Utomi, Tyoden, others advocate free, entrepreneurial education at UNESCO forum

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New York – Prof. Sonni Tyoden, the Deputy Governor of Plateau, and Prof. Pat Utomi, have called for the review of schools’ curricula to ensure free, qualitative and entrepreneurial education.

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Utomi and Tyoden made the call at the 2017 Education Solutions International Conference alongside Prof. May Nwoye from Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Niger, and Dr Ada Okika, Executive Director, UNESCO Centre for Global Education.

They spoke on the theme: “Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)-4: Character and Leadership Education in 2030 Development Agenda’’ in New York.

SDGs-4 is to ‘ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’ by 2030.

Tyoden said the Plateau Government had taken concrete steps in line with SDGs-4 to enhance access and school enrolment specifically at the primary and secondary school levels, for both boys and girls.

“The introduction of the Universal Primary and Universal Basic Education programmes by the State Government respectively, has played important roles in this regard.

“But there is still a huge gap in terms of quality, content and infrastructure. Indeed, enhancing accessibility without corresponding quality does not translate to improving quality of education that the SDGs-4 seeks to achieve.

“Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to ensure that all boys and girls complete free, equitable and quality primary or elementary education, leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes by 2030.”

Utomi, who is founder of Centre for Value in Leadership and Director, Lagos Business School, said there was the need to “create entrepreneurial education as an approach to development”.

Sharing his experience at the Centre for Value in Leadership and Lagos Business School, Utomi said education was at the heart of finding solutions to human problems.

He said his vision was not to train graduates who would be seeking for jobs that are not available but those who would help create jobs and employers of labour.

“I founded the Centre for Value in Leadership to see how I could help create new thinking,” he said.

In her keynote address, Nwoye called for intervention for the marginalised to have free access to qualitative education.

According to her, however, government alone cannot provide education for all and called for interventions from private organisations, international donors and partners, especially at the foundational stage.

Also in her presentation, Okika said in addressing the 2030 Development Agenda successes, UNESCO emphasised that education was the major key to achieving the development agenda.

She stressed the need for education at the foundational stage to teach children the culture and language of the environment.

She said the UNESCO Centre for Global Education in commitment to the SGDs-4 and targets enacted a call to action on education solutions.

According to her, the aim is to provide education and skills to help teachers, school proprietors and principals, education directors and administrators in responding to the global vision.

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