25 Jun 2014

HOT ON OUR RADAR: STAYINSCHOOLNG

The lack of access to quality education is a well discussed problem in Nigeria. But that has been the problem thus far, it has been well discussed but little has been done in terms of tangible action or even reform in the educational sector to turn this situation around. One of the Millennium Development Goals agreed upon by the member states of the United Nations was to as much as possible eradicate illiteracy in the third world by 2015, something we as a nation are nowhere near reaching. The Government’s slow paced and sometimes outright backward actions regarding education has forced many concerned citizens to take matters into their own hands. One of the results of this approach to solving our education problems is StayInSchoolNG.

Taken from their website, their mission statement says “ The StayinschoolNG initiative is a proactive response to the evident issues in the Education sector and a long term development plan with major focus on providing educational support (Scholarships, educational supplies, meals, transportation etc.) for Orphans and Vulnerable children in underdeveloped communities in Nigeria ensuring that they Stay-In-School. StayInSchoolNG will provide disadvantaged children in Nigeria with a pathway out of poverty by exposing them to educational opportunities. Our aim is to reduce the percentage of the un-educated population in the country by starting young, and by doing so, giving HOPE to Nigerian children. Nigeria will be better for it in the long run”. Impressive if I do say so myself. But even more impressive is the work they are doing.

With children under the age of fifteen accounting for more than forty five percent of our current population and the growing lack of interest in taking teaching jobs on all levels and education becoming a sort of back-up career when everything else has failed, one can only imagine the kind of strain that is put on the pre-existing infrastructure and manpower by this overwhelming demand for primary and secondary education. Even when the reforms work, because of the lack of pre-existing framework of social welfare and documentation and care for the underprivileged, the population demographic who needs education the most (Orphans, underprivileged and children in rural areas) fall through the cracks simply because of their lack of visibility. This perpetuates the cycle of poverty in those regions and increases the financial gap between the rich and the poor. StayInSchoolNG aims to be a social blanket, specifically to catch these less visible ones. StayInSchoolNG (SIS) is a non-governmental civil society movement that aims to reduce the number of educational dropout at the most basic levels (nursery and primary).

Comprised entirely of volunteer teams that comprise of social workers, teachers, doctors, students, child’s rights campaigners and other concerned citizens, they aim to reduce the number of kids roaming the streets and out of school during school hours, enhance the school experience by ensuring that their basic academic needs (school books, text books, stationery and where possible food and clothing) is provided for them within the period of their studies so that all their attention can be turned exclusively towards learning. They also aim to improve positive child development through interactive education and most importantly ensuring that the recipients of all these boons do ‘Stay-In-School’.

To help them achieve these goals, they reach students most prominently through the organisation’s annual FunDayOut event, a social event held during the children’s day week. Initiated in 2013 with an Inaugural edition at the Guzape village at the Asokoro extension in Abuja, the day celebrated the global children day for disadvantaged children who otherwise would have no opportunity to do so, organising events and celebrating disadvantaged children who had excelled in the previous academic year with prizes. The event is rotated between the villages where the organisation operates and will hopefully expand in scope in coming years. The organisation currently has a presence in Abuja in the Guzape village, victims of the fallout from Abuja’s metamorphosis into a mega city and the infrastructural displacement of its indigenes. SIS supports twenty five children in a private primary school in the area, providing school fees, stationery and uniforms. 

They also have a presence in Ejigbo Local Government in Lagos where they currently sponsors the education of fifty disadvantaged students across five public primary schools in the area. Apart from that, they also create awareness on social media about the disadvantaged children in the education system and offer ways to help.

To help the cause, you can reach them on their twitter handle, @stayinschoolng or reach them on their website here  to volunteer your time or other skills. Or if you want to remain anonymous, you can simply send a donation to the GTB account, 012400879 with account name Young Minds Foundation.

We salute StayInSchoolNG for taking the initiative to make a difference and encourage you to do the same.


From us at 9JEducation it’s 

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