Lessons from Rio 2016 – Quality Education will bring out the excellence in Africa

For the past 10 days, the flames of excitement have been consistently fanned by enthusiasm, energy and panache in the midst of the most colourful city in South America: Rio de Janeiro, where more than 11,000 athletes have assembled to engage in the world’s biggest sporting event – Olympics.

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A lucid representation of excellence is perceptible with a quick glance at the medals table.

http://m.bbc.com/sport/olympics/rio-2016/medals/countries

Perhaps, there is a correlation between the strongest economies of the world and the nations that jumped to the top five positions on the medals table. Maybe, they are just popular names we hear everyday.

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Michael Phelps: Passion – Humility – Education – Love – Practice – Success.

The top five nations on the medals table in ascending order are: Germany, Russia, China, Great Britain and United States. According to an economic report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – a ranking of the world’s largest economies which is usually updated twice annually with the latest one released in April 2016; four countries among the five at the top of the medals table occupy the top five spots in the ranking. In descending order, the world’s largest economies are: United States, China, Japan, Germany, and United Kingdom. This only portends that these countries understood the nitty-gritty of excellence; they paid the price of preparation and harnessed all the resources at their disposal to achieve their goals.
With just a couple days to the closure of the 2016 Summer Olympics, some countries are yet to win any medal and only one African nation is in the top 30 on the medals table:

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David Rudisha, the giant among the giants.
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Jemima Jelagat Sumbong, the future is brilliant. 

Kenya (19)

Brilliant performance of the athletes can be linked to the state of development in their countries. The underdevelopment in Africa can be associated with the poor quality of education available. One of Africa’s brightest leaders, Nelson Mandela, is the author of one of the world’s most powerful quotes on education; “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Africa needs to morph into a conglomerate of developed nations. This change can only be realized when education is given top priority in decision making and financial appropriations. A change that heralds rapid development can be initiated when quality education is fully embraced.
Africa is one of the world’s richest continents in terms of natural and human resources. In the pursuit of quality education and higher standard of living, best brains from Africa have migrated to other countries. Migrations to developed nations imply that they contribute immensely to the economy of their new countries. This is one of the reasons why developed nations with favourable immigration policies will always top the chart when it comes to the rankings.
A sneak peak at the best universities in the world can give an idea of where the best of educational facilities and resources are obtainable. According to The Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2015/2016, the United States serves as home to six universities that are among the top 10 in the world. China has two universities in the top 50, Japan has two universities in the top 100, Germany hosts nine universities in the top 100 and United Kingdom has three post-secondary institutions in the top 10 in the world. The depth of qualitative education in these countries may be one of the factors that have enabled them to be in control of the world’s largest economies. Perhaps, they invested heavily in education because they have a perfect understanding of the words of the Greek philosopher, Aristotle; “The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.”
Quality education in Africa needs a surge aided by financial commitments from private donors and government agencies. South Africa and Egypt are two African countries that have found their spots on the world map, because they paid attention to quality education. South Africa is a home to six universities that comfortably occupy the top 800 in the world with University of Cape Town in position 120. Egypt also has three universities in the top 800 while Nigeria can only make boast of one university in the top 800 in the world.

Conclusively, Africa is a name that resonates with excellence and brilliance; a habitat for great minds that can truly change the world. For the excellence in the loins of African youths to reach the continental stage, qualitative and standardized education must be made available to all and sundry. This will strengthen our economy, prepare us for the future and birth more athletes worthy of Olympic medals in Tokyo 2020.

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Let us keep in mind that all is possible under the control of the Almighty.

Osho Samuel Adetunji

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Ikorodu Oral Hygiene Project

Our teeth are some of the most important tools in our body. Not only are they useful for biting, cutting, chewing and grinding food items, but are also important for the proper articulation of speech and for showing our happiness to the world, through smiles.
Therefore, it bears repeating, as many times as possible, that the teeth should be properly maintained to avoid decay and other ailments like aches and cavities.

The above is the summary of the message the One African Child Foundation, in partnership with Love Out Loud Africa, took to the city of Ikorodu on Saturday, the 23rd of July, 2016, in a programme tagged: The Oral Hygiene Project. The project which was held at Butterfly Estate, Agric, Ikorodu, Lagos, had about 35 children, between the ages of 4 and 13, in attendance.

The Programme featured talks on general hygiene and dental hygiene. There were also video shows on the proper way to brush and the need to maintain good hygiene, games, question and answer session, evaluation, presentation of gifts and photographs. The different sessions were facilitated by volunteers with the training manual developed by Love Out Loud Africa.

The talk on Dental Hygiene explained to the children the need to keep their teeth in good condition by brushing regularly and avoiding excessive intake of foods that could damage them. The different types of teeth (molars, premolars, incisors and canines) and their functions were explained to the children. The talk on General Hygiene, on the other hand, encouraged the children to maintain good personal hygiene by washing their hands and having their baths regularly. They were also encouraged to be good ambassadors of their environments by disposing dirt properly and picking up those left behind by others, when they can.

To further drive home the points elucidated in the talk, there were video shows on how to properly take care of the teeth. Afterwards, there was a quiz competition which served as an energizer for the children.

The programme ended with the distribution of toothpastes and toothbrushes to the children and an evaluation of the programme. In the course of the evaluation, many of the children expressed feelings of joy at being participants in the programme. Isibor Blessing said she learnt a lot about personal hygiene and how important it is to take good care of oneself. Emmanuel Nwachukwu said he enjoyed the game on States and Capitals and he learnt the importance of keeping the environment clean. When asked to state what they will do differently henceforth, Zakari Jemilat said she will try to pass on the knowledge she acquired to other children while Obidike Blessing said she will encourage her parents to take her to see a dentist.

The Dental Hygiene Project which the One African Chid Organization organized with financial support from Love out Loud Africa, is another step towards the actualization of both organizations’ dreams to see healthy and empowered African children who will be at the vanguard in the quest to raise Africa to greater heights.

One African Child and Love out Loud Africa thank the many volunteers who, through their devotion and labour of love, made the event a success. Volunteers everywhere are encouraged to keep shining the light in their different domains by being proactive in solving societal challenges.

‘Read to Lead’ project set to hold in Metamorphosis College, Mowe

OneAfricanChild Foundation partners with Young Protege Leadership Foundation for a reading project in February 

Show me a family of readers, and I will show you the people who move the world” – Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France.
One of the greatest leaders of all time, Napoleon Bonaparte opined that the family of readers is the family of world movers. Readers are individuals who gain knowledge – they use the edge they have discovered on the pages of books to move the world to the next phase in life. Taking the world to the very edge of innovation and creativity at every single opportunity.
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In the spirit of raising world movers, OneAfricanChild Foundation is happy to announce its partnership with Young Protege Leadership Foundation in organising the “Read to Lead” project scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2016 at Metamorphosis College, Mowe.

This project is aimed to support literacy and motivate pupils to cultivate a good reading culture. It will bring together primary and secondary school students to learn and get engaged in creative activities which include a reading session, sharing of experience by participants and facilitators and the projection of a motivational video.

At the end of the project, both organisations expect to have inspired the children to take an interest in reading  and see a reason to aspire for the highest educational qualifications.

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As we believe strongly in learning coupled with empowerment, OneAfricanChild Foundation will also be donating some reading materials centred on Global Citizenship Education.
The time for the event is 10 am prompt.
For Partnerships and Sponsorship, please send us a mail via: 1africanchild@gmail.com or contact Abisola Adewale on +234 806 533 6178.

#ONEAFRICANCHILD #Africa #Education #globaleducationconference

Thanks to the dynamism of Victoria Ibiwoye (in the middle… picture below)

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OneAfricanChild (OAC) is getting active throughout the continent. While Training is still on in order to spread the wings of the action for children through OneAfricanChild International Program, the Initiative is still very active.

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One African Child is a partner to The 2014 Global Education Conference starting from November 17 to 22, 2014.
We encourage teachers and students to seize this opportunity to maximise their impact. This is a virtual conference and attendance is totally free!
Visit: http://t.co/5e0Zon9ZcJ for more details.

By Author RAY NDEBI

TO OTA WITH LOVE (A Report on OAC’S Visit to the IJAMIDO Children Home, OTA, OGUN STATE)

Proud OACians

On the invitation of Miss Nikola Sasurova, a UNICEF volunteer from Czech Republic, OACians from Ibadan paid a visit to one of the oldest children homes around in Nigeria.

Ijamido Children’s Home was founded by an American, Chief (Mrs) Irene V Liloughby, in 1958, to care for children abandoned at birth and who have no one to cater for them. The home has 123 children in residence; babies, toddlers and pupils of primary, secondary and tertiary institutions of learning. The children stay in the Home until they reach adulthood because the Home does not allow adoption.

With a team of seven, OAC Ibadan left the University to be joined by OAC representatives from Lagos, Mr Tobi Bamuyiwa and Miss Folakemi Olowu, at the Ota home of the orphaned and abandoned kids. The team was well received by both the caretakers of the home and the UNICEF representatives.

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Smiles… to keep our children warm.
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Fun is all children need to grow better and safer!!!
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Children listen to those who understand them.
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Unity is the key to a wonderful dawn for our children.
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Children have so much to show. Just let them teach us how to follow them.
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No blessing is above a child’s happiness!
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Our attitude determines the altitude of children’s happiness. Let us join our efforts.
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Always stand for children!
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Sharing… sharing… sharing…
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It is our responsibility to make our children happy. We have to answer any of their calls at any time.

The visit was quickly kicked off with meeting with the children within the age brackets of 10 and 1. The team engaged them in fun-filled activities as we tried to brighten their day with beautiful stories, while also trying to add more value to their lives by engaging in games that promote friendship, teamwork and interpersonal relationships. The moments shared with the children can only be told by the excitement shown on their faces. Through their eyes, we could see the broken jigsaws in their puzzles and how they were all endeavouring to fix them, both with the help of the home and their own resolve to stay happy despite their challenges. The children were not as timid as might be expected; they freely expressed themselves only after a little familiarization process by the OAC team. With Tosin leading the programmes, we were quick to form circles and fun and bonding were the results of the activities. Later on, Victoria had a chat with the kids while some of the OAC team members, specifically Tobi, Folakemi, Habeeb and Tosin moved to talk with the children who were in their adolescence.

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Men and Women at the same table with the same share. No discrimination in our Future!
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To achieve the best with what we have where we are is the ground-root of self-actualization.
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Great hearts look alike…

The kids were undergoing a training session before the team arrived and were a little tired so we had the problem of reigniting their interest. However, they were equally receptive as they freely participated in the activities that were introduced. We got them to talk about their aspirations and what they were doing to ensure that their dreams come true. Some who wanted to become singers came out to render beautiful songs a cappella and everyone loved the passion they put into it. We talked to our children about adding values to another’s life and why they need to sustain the affection and outreach that the founder of the home has offered them. We told them why they needed to care more about the people around them and why they were equally as important as everyone else in the creation of better societies for humankind .We reiterated that the little things they did to the people around them counts a lot and that the accumulation of such things are what makes a difference to the world. So they should keep the intensity of doing good, sharing love and staying positive as well as affecting the people around them positively. The children asked a few questions which were duly answered.

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Smile to a child and his Father will smile to you.
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You cannot spread fun if you don’t have it yourself! Children multiply by a thousand each feeling they see us show.
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ARE YOU READY TO JOIN OUR FAMILY? All we need is your smile!

As we rounded off our visit, Mr Kola of VWAN (Voluntary Work Camps Association of Nigeria) walked in. VWAN was the host of the two white volunteers, one from Czech and the other from Finland; he was very appreciative of our visit and praised his OAC team. He added that he was ready to support us in his full capacity and revealed that there were several international opportunities that could be tapped into by the organization. He added that the sustained excellence of the organization would catapult to bigger levels where offers from across the world would be tendered to work with the organization and the visions of the organization properly met. He also talked about exchange programmes that were available to volunteers as people who were interested in such charitable works are needed across the world.

In the end, he told to team to stay connected to VWAN so as to closely monitor opportunities that might result thereof and also said that the association was willing to support OAC and should be carried along as at when due.

The team bid farewell to the home after a short meeting with the caretaker of the home. The man thanked the team for taking out their time to connect with the kids and also prayed that such efforts would continually yield fruits.

Habeeb Kolade

Head of Editorials, One African Child.

CHANGE – THE TRUE ESSENCE OF EDUCATION

 

Sifting through the pages of history, checking the ranks of excellence and strolling down the walkways of life, the sparkling insignia of education which was affixed to the names of heroes and heroines caught my attention. The new generation beholds the illustrious works of great men and women who dared to make the world a better place. They read the squiggling of sages on the parchments of history in a bid to drink from the wellsprings of knowledge the ancients used as the source of their strength. Inasmuch as the antediluvian era celebrated men who championed the tempestuous course of freedom and upheld the thorny pillars of justice, they all took three square meals on the table of education.

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Africa – the home of Kings and Queens

Education can simply be defined as the act of acquiring and imparting knowledge through teaching and learning. Education is an embodiment of literacy and competence. School and institutions serve as restaurants were individuals feast on the tasty meals of knowledge given by teachers and lecturers. Literacy is the ability to read and write and this shows the thick line between illiterates and literates. In Africa, it is believed that once you possess the capacity to read and write, then you are literate and you are better off than the meager farmers in the village who could hardly write their own names. Is that the essence of education? Competence is the ability to do something well; a doing which is as a result of knowledge gained through learning or training. When seeds of literacy and competence are planted in the deepest soils of the mind of an individual, the mind becomes an educated one. Competence is what assists an individual to thrive in a world ruled by the law of competition.

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Be the Changer

Wisdom is the correct application of knowledge. What is the essence of amassing knowledge without applying it? Why will you burn night candles to get a distinction in Biology and yet you don’t have a good personal hygiene? Why study Chemistry and yet you don’t know how dangerous petrol could be? It is pathetic to see youths in their numbers who are proud to be First Class graduates but yet cannot do anything with what they claim to have learnt. It is frustrating to see students extol literacy and denigrate competency. Some technicians who have never been to the four walls of an institution are miles ahead of some so-called engineers in terms of providing viable solutions to problems. Good enough if you can read or write English language, a five year old in Manchester should be able to do that brilliantly. There is more to education than wearing a three-piece suit and sitting in an air-conditioned office.

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Dare to be different

Nelson Mandela in his words described education as the most powerful weapon which can be used to change the world. In other words education gives you an empowerment which makes you an instrument of change. If you claim to be educated and you are not responsible for a positive change, then you have to check your status. When you gain knowledge, it sets you free from the shackles of ignorance and it empowers you to help others in your sphere of influence. When you are well informed; you evade some precarious situations. Positive changes have been experienced over the years in different sectors of life because of the involvement of educated individuals.

Education has no doubt aided invention which resulted into modern day civilization and technology. The competence inscribed by education on the hearts of young minds gave birth to an unquenchable curiosity which made them unparalleled inventors of all times. American prolific inventor, Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, Scottish scientist, Alexander Graham Bell made communication easy with telephones, the Wright brothers made a mockery of the law of gravity with their high-flying planes and Karl Benz of Germany solved the challenge of transportation with automobiles. These inventions solved problems bedeviling the world; hence they changed the world with flaming torches of education which they held firm in their hands on the podium of excellence.

Be the world changer from your locality
Be the world changer from your locality

The effect of education in the area of leadership cannot be overemphasized. According to John C. Maxwell, an American author and orator, “Leadership is influence”. Majority of world leaders that are educated have exuded great intelligence when it comes to leadership, this has helped them to influence their followers in a positive way. Such leaders were able to make good decisions which were able to take their countries in the right direction towards success. American President, Franklin Roosevelt exhibited mental prowess and mettle which was enough to see America through the World War II. India still recalls the conscientious efforts of the pre-eminent leader of Indian nationalism in British-ruled India, Mahatma Gandhi. The literate voices of Nelson Mandela penetrated the thickets of apartheid in South Africa until victory was achieved. The leadership of these educated minds changed the world.

Education creates a good atmosphere which enhances a civic-minded followership. This type of followership will yield constructive criticisms which are capable of detecting any kind of subterfuges that their leaders might employ. This is the reason why American Presidential Debates play key roles in whom emerges as the winner of the election. The Presidential Debate in America has more glamour than Nigeria’s Presidential Debate (if one exists) because of the sharp contrast in the literacy level of both countries. Leaders will be on their toes if their followers are well educated about Politics, Civic rights and core issues of governance. Education is powerful! It is capable of pulling down nebulous empires built by tyrants.

It begins with YOU
It begins with YOU

You can be the change you wish to see if you will maximize the knowledge you have to provide pertinent solutions to problems in your vicinity. Apply the knowledge you have acquired and be a quintessence of wisdom. When we fail to apply the knowledge, we simply deny education its changing power. The true essence of education in life is to be a change, a problem solver and a shining light that chase darkness into obscurity.

OSHO SAMUEL ADETUNJI