Youth Advocate for Change (YAC), a non-governmental organisation, has held a one-day interactive session tagged, ‘Advancing Inclusive Education in Lagos Slum Communities’. The event, which took place in Lagos, Nigeria, brought together school proprietors, government officials, civil society groups and young people. The Convener and Team Leader of YAC, Adeola Ogunlade, stated that the objective of the event was to ensure that marginalised children in slum communities are not left behind in the effort towards achieving inclusive education for all children, irrespective of their location, gender, and socio-economic challenges.
Ogunlade said, ‘Lagos State, with a population of about 21 million people and annual GDP growth rate of 1.5%, is ironically home to over 100 slums, which are challenged by the burden of poverty, inadequate infrastructure, filthy environment and none or inadequate education facilities for young people. The available evidence and education surveys show that enrolment of children in schools in the [four, target] communities is poor, especially [for] the girl-child, while completing basic education remains a challenge’. The four focal communities for YAC’s advocacy are Ilaje, Iwaya-Makoko, Ikate and Agboyi-Ketu, all in Lagos State.
Ogunlade pointed out that even when children attend schools, learning outcomes are poor and are not serving the best interests of the children and Lagos State as a whole. Ogunlade further observed that although the Lagos State Government is improving its spending on teacher’s training, building new schools, mainstreaming digital technology in public schools and improving learning outcomes among students, it is evident from research that the impact of government on advancing the educational opportunities for slum dwellers is limited.
Photo source: Jens Aarstein Holm