During the 2023 United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State emphasized the pressing need for global attention on providing quality education to millions of children.
He stressed that this is an urgent matter requiring action from international communities, donor agencies, and development partners.
Speaking at a UNGA event in New York, AbdulRazaq highlighted his administration’s substantial investments in school infrastructure and technology to enhance teaching methods, accountability, and effective learning. These efforts aim to bring Kwara’s children up to par with their peers worldwide.
The Governor’s initiatives have empowered teachers to meet curriculum standards, reduce absenteeism, and increase school enrollment, ultimately raising educational standards.
The event, titled ‘Addressing Africa’s learning crisis and preparing for a young future: finding solutions,’ was organized by Devex Event and New Globe. AbdulRazaq shared the stage with prominent figures including Shannon May, President and Co-founder of NewGlobe, Yasmine Sherif, Executive Director of Education Cannot Wait (a UN initiative), and others.
Governor AbdulRazaq stressed that a well-funded education sector holds the key to improving various sectors like health, water, rural-urban development, and food security. He noted that data collected from schools can inform government decisions and resource allocation.
Despite progress, funding remains a significant challenge, he acknowledged. He reported a reduction in learning deprivation in Kwara public schools from 70.8% to 51.6% within 40 weeks of implementing the KwaraLEARN program.
Yasmine Sherif praised AbdulRazaq’s efforts and echoed the urgency of jointly funding education and promoting inclusion. She disclosed the UN’s plan to mobilize a $1.5 billion fund to provide quality education to 120 million out-of-school children in distressed regions worldwide.
She also announced her intention to lead a team to Nigeria, with a special focus on Kwara, in support of the global campaign for children’s education rights.
Shannon May, co-founder of NewGlobe, commended Abdulrazaq’s vision for transforming public schools in Kwara State. She urged other African states and leaders to allocate resources and energy toward similar educational improvements. She highlighted the importance of political will and data-based strategies in achieving inclusive education and positive learning outcomes for young people.
The commitment to quality education for all remains a top priority in Kwara State’s agenda.