Stakeholders identify ways to improve access to secondary education for marginalised youths

TO improve access to quality secondary education for girls and other marginalised youths, Nigerians must begin to see education as a collective responsibility. 

  Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Dr. MacJohn Nwaobiala, made the call while speaking at the maiden meeting of stakeholders in secondary education by Results for Development Institute (R4D) and The Education Partnership Centre (TEP Centre), under the auspices of the Partnership to Strengthen Innovation and Practice in Secondary Education (PSISPE).

 The PSIPSE Nigeria Convening, held at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Lagos, brought together stakeholders and decision-makers in secondary education in Nigeria to share knowledge and experiences, discuss best practices and innovations, and encourage peer-to-peer collaboration.

  Nwaobiala, who was one of the speakers at the convention, said that in addition to being collectively responsible, adopting approaches that strengthen government and private sector collaboration would also help improve the education system immensely.

  On her part, the Managing Director, TEP Centre, Dr. Modupe Adefeso-Olateju, noted that well-designed and strategic public-private partnerships could address challenges, which affect access, quality and equity in Nigerian education. 

  However, while addressing the challenges facing access to quality secondary education for girls and marginalised youths, the team leader, Human Development, DFID Nigeria, Ms Kemi Williams, who was the keynote speaker, stated that the solution to removing barriers requires a comprehensive understanding of how the barriers interrelate, and a holistic approach to addressing them. 

  The convention was held as part of efforts to improve innovation and practice in secondary education in Nigeria. Technical sessions at the event focused on sharing knowledge on monitoring and evaluation, translating research into policy, strengthening the design of secondary education research, scaling projects and engaging policymakers.

  The PSIPSE, a funder collaborative, seeks to increase secondary education access and improve learning outcomes especially for girls and marginalized populations by accelerating innovation in secondary education programming, research, and development in selected countries. It is led by a group of private donors and donor advisors, including ELMA Philanthropies, Human Dignity Foundation, Intel Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, MasterCard Foundation, and an anonymous donor. 

   In her closing remarks, a board member of Results for Development Institute (R4D) and Chairman, Hygiea Nigeria, Mrs. Fola Laoye, said that for the country to be truly competitive in a global economy, there is need to return to a merit-driven system. 

  She commended PSIPSE grant recipients for their commitment to designing and implementing innovative secondary education projects.

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