On Monday October 7th, I was the guest of honor at the dedication of Standard Academy, a pre-school my good friend Nuruddeen Nyako opened last month here in Yola.
Nuruddeen is also president of the Bicycle Riders Coop, which is partnering with EOTM on the unicycling initiatives in Yola.
Education is a critical component of development. UNESCO recommends 26% of a country’s annual budget be dedicated to education.
Ghana spends 31 %, Cote d’Ivoire, 30%; Uganda 27%; Morocco 26. 1; Swaziland, 24.6; South Africa 25.8%; Kenya, 23%; Botswana, 19%
Nigeria hugs the bottom spending only 8.4% of its GDP on education.
One results of this in Nigeria is 10.5 million drops outs; the highest amount in the world. Here in Yola it is not uncommon to see kids in the street when they should be in school.
Standard Academy (SA) is doing it’s part to address the problem. Since its opening in August SA has attracted kids from more than 40 families. SA fees are very reasonable and several students are on scholarship.
SA teachers are dedicated, passionate and qualified. The curriculum is an unapologetic amalgamation of Western educational methodology, Islamic principles and Hausa-Fulani culture. Kids are learning their lessons in Arabic, English, and Hausa.
I am proud to be associated with such an innovative and important project.
Daniel Barkley, Ph.D.
P.S. My apologies for the uninteresting guest of honor speech.