Several years ago, Nelson Mandela told us that Education is the most powerful weapon which we can use to change the world and till today, that statement in its entirety is still not contestable. Quality and accessible education is the bedrock of every modern society, the relevance of education can never be over emphasised. It is also based on this reality that Gilbert Chesterton, the Prince of Paradox wrote decades ago that "Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another". Sadly, in this generation, like in every generation that precedes ours, this soul is being threatened and Its passage made narrow. First by wars, insurrections , natural disasters but in most recent time by a deadly virus and an economic division and recession.
As the Director of Education, Scholarship and Advocacy for Impactfield Global Youth Initiative and in line with our organizations vision to advocate for quality education for children and youths in Africa, my concerns for a better future where public health safety and economic progress isn't at the expense of the right to education of any child or youth are indubitable.
Our ancestors fought hard to meet their own challenges and to make sure that they pass this soul (Education) on to the generation that comes after them and that's what we must do -fight. This responsibility led the United Nations General Assembly in 2018 to proclaim 24th January as International day of Education, in celebration of the role of Education for peace and development. This year, as the world struggles to meet the challenges that the Covid-19 Virus has created, the relevance of International Day of Education is more prominent than ever. it's more than just a celebration for us now, it's a time for deep reflection and careful reconsideration. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizaton (UNESCO) has pointed out that it is time to power education by stepping up collaboration and international solidarity to place education and life long learning at the centre of the recovery with the theme "Recover and Revitalise Education for the Covid-19 Generation" but this can't be efficiently carried out without the voices of the people it has robbed the most, The Covid Generation.
The voices of covid generation matters a lot and must not be silenced. These voices are voices of hope for a more just society and better future. They are voices of resilience and strength in the midst of uncertainties. They are voices of tolerance and compassion in the face of the many wedges that divides us as a people and finally, they are the voices of healing. Amplifying these voices is a major concern of Impacfield Global Youth Initiative and It is what brought about the project 'Impactfield voices of Covid Generation'.
Impactfield Global Youth Initiative will continue to help uphold the pillars of education which is also the pillars of a modern society like we have been doing with our previous projects like the
- - "Back to School" campaign which has provided scholarship opportunities for so many indigent children.
- - "Project 2500 Books' Which provided educational relief materials to children in rural communities.
- And other numerous life changing projects that we have done in the past.
Finally, I'm calling on different governmets and policy makers, especially the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to tackle head on, the so many issues that we have been facing, which have now been amplified by the pandemic. More children are out of school than ever, the ones in school are at risk of getting a deadly virus without any health benefit in place. More people than ever have slipped into poverty due the economic recession and mental health crisis has risen by a milestone. The Nigerian people deserve care and our welfare should be the priority of any decision that will be taken this period. As we commemorate this years International day of Education my we remember that Benjamin Franklin told us that an investment in knowledge pays the best interest. Thank you.
Ome Mmaduabuchi Ifeanyi
- Director for Education, Scholarship and Advocacy
Impactfield Global Youth Initiative