By Gift Olivia Samuel, The Sight News
ABUJA: The World’s largest Lesson Nigeria, an initiative to teach over 500,000 children in one week about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) kicked off Monday, across Nigeria.
This initiative is part of a global campaign to educate and activate children and young people about the SDGs, and is aimed to give both in and out of school children in Nigeria, the opportunity to take part in a special Nigeria edition of the world’s Largest Lesson.
Speaking on this at a press conference in Abuja on Monday, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, stated that the initiative will encourage more children back to school and the federal government will maximize the opportunity to use these children to invite their friends back to school.
According to her, “The Federal government will ensure that the project will not be a one-off, by creating enough classrooms to get the children of school age back to school, as there is no shortcut to Education. Investment in our children is not a waste”.
She further noted that the government is working to ensure that the Child Right Law is passed, as it has been long overdue, adding that they will domesticate the law for the benefit of the young people.
The SSA also revealed that her office is working with the Federal Ministry of Education to include the SDGs in the curriculum.
For his part, the Deputy Director- Education 2030, Mr. Kalu Obasi, assured that the Federal Ministry of Education is working to ensure that the SDGs will be incorporated in the national education curriculum.
Also speaking, the Creator, World Largest Lesson,Alison Bellwood, said that the lesson will educate and activate children and young people for and about the SDGs as they are agents of change.
According to her, when children take part in the SDGs, they feel more empowered to influence the world they live in.
“These lessons, taught by a team of 2500 youth volunteers, is expected to unlock in children a vision for the Nigeria that they wish to live in by 2030 and a Nigeria that has achieved the Sustainable Development Goals. Children will then be asked to consider what they can do to help make this Nigeria a reality,”she said.
Furthermore, the Executive Director, Connected Development, Hamzat Lawal, said that Nigeria has achieved a lot of stride on the SDG, and history is being made in Nigeria as capacity and knowledge of the young people is the talk.
He remarked that the success of the World’s Largest Lesson will show that Nigeria is ready even beyond 2030, adding that CODE will support the groups and government to achieve the SDG beyond 2030.
Meanwhile, following this week—30,000 children will take part in 300 after school clubs for the SDGs. These clubs known as Club17 Africa, has been endorsed by the SSAP on SDGs and the Federal Ministry of Education. It is expected that children in schools or out of school community groups and Internally Displaced People camps will learn more about the Goals and develop ideas for community projects and the best idea will be awarded cash Grant to make these projects possible.
“It is a call to action to achieve the right to every child. It is incredibly important for every child to have the right to learn about these issues and to take action to achieve the SDGs,” said Shannon O’Shea, Public Partnership Advocacy, UNICEF. “Children are agents of change and we need to get them involved in achieving the SDGs”.