Embracing Education in Nigeria

Dogon Gada, Nigeria

With 45% of Nigeria’s population consisting of children under the age of 15 years, education is critical to the development of this nation according to UNESCO. Even so, 40% of children ages 6-11 years do not attend school; up to 65-75% of students attending school are boys. While the government has imposed education goals and measures to meet them, facilities and teachers are lacking.

The other challenge to education for Nigerian children is the pressure for them to bring in additional income for their family. “According to current data, 30% of pupils drop out of primary school and only 54% transit to Junior Secondary Schools. Reasons for this low completion rate include child labour, economic hardship and early marriage for girls,” reports UNESCO.

Our GHNI-Nigeria team, led by National Leaders Martins and Shade, have experienced these challenges first hand. When villagers first invited the team to begin Transformational Community Development (TCD) in their community they had no school. Children like Bitrus didn’t even have the opportunity to go to school. Instead, he was responsible for bringing home money to support his family. In fact, only 2 of about 50 children in the village were attending school, walking as far as 8km (nearly 5 miles) to the nearest school!

Sarki Yu, Dogon Gada Village’s “Man of Peace,” embraced the concept of TCD and saw the importance of having a school in the village. He advocated to his fellow villagers and soon a few stepped up under his influence to help build a school. Not only are more children in Dogon Gada attending school but also children from other villages.

Bitrus was one of the first to begin attending classes at the new school. As a young teenager, he had never been to school before but has learned very quickly. He now aspires to be a doctor, something inconceivable just a few years ago! In fact, though he had the opportunity to get married this year at 17 years old, he decided to postpone marriage until he is able to achieve his dream and truly support a family.

While students like Bitrus are thriving with the opportunity to get an education, not all children in and around Dogon Gada Village are so fortunate. Many parents still hold the mindset that making money is more important than education. Through TCD lessons, GHNI leaders are working to help them understand and hope they will embrace education for their children in time.

On the other hand, parents from nearby villages are jumping at the chance to send their children to school. Therefore, GHNI leaders are working to build dormitories for students outside of Dogon Gada Village.

Join villagers of Dogon Gada village as they continue to make education a priority. Help provide funding for a school library and dormitories for other village children today!