NOUN plans changemaker course
The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) through its Faculty of Education has concluded plans to start changemaker course. The Dean, Faculty of Education (FOE), Prof. Uchenna Osuji, disclosed this during the official launch of Everyone A Change Maker (EACH) Movement in Nigeria.
The movement, launched in Ikeja by Ashoka, a global organisation that supports the world’s leading social entrepreneurs, will be implemented in six metro areas in Nigeria, including Lagos, Abuja, Enugu, Port Harcourt, Kaduna and Yola.
A Change maker city or metro area is a connected ecosystem of influential institutions, leaders and actors in a region, who are collaborating and co-creating innovative strategies that foster and support the next generation of changemakers in their communities.
Osuji, who was a guest speaker at the event, said the changemaker course would be co- developed by NOUN, Asoka and global partners.
According to him, the course will be most suited in NOUN’s e-learning platforms and will be offered to teachers, students, private enterprise, government officials and other communities that they serve.
The Faculty also announced the change maker challenge for all her students across the country. The faculty, he said, will be the first institution of education in Africa to launch the change maker challenge by inculcating in the students as champions of the new skill.
He stressed the action will demonstrate NOUN’ s commitment to sharpening national development by empowering our students and all Nigerians with the necessary skills to become problem solvers and contributors for the Common goal, for the common good of our dear country.
Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, who was represented by Mr. Adeyemi Adebanjo, a Director of Social Duty and Innovation in the ministry, said the only sustainable way of driving development is through collaboration with stakeholders like Ashoka.
She noted that education is no longer just about what students read in textbooks and get taught in school, but also about the messages and impressions that children and young people are exposed to everyday on various platforms.
“Our education is developing the children to be self-reliant; our children are full of new ideas and development which they can imbibe,” she added.
Regional Director, Ashoka Africa, Josephine Nzerem, said the launch of the Ashoka Young Changemakers programme comes at a critical time “as we continue to witness the tremendous growth and impact occasioned by upcoming social entrepreneurs here in Nigeria.”
She stated that at Ashoka, the imperious need to inspire change and activate the Everyone a Changemaker mindset among young people who make up the greatest percentage of this country’s population is recognised
On her part, Empathy Leader, Ashoka Africa Children and Empathy, Angelou Ezeilo, said changemakers are in the business of disrupting systems and creating better ones no matter the challenges they encounter.
“In a country where the median age is under 21 years, Nigeria proves to be the hub for nurturing the culture of changemaking across the African continent.
“We are determined to connect the young entrepreneurs we have identified to resources, materials, tools, opportunities and partnerships that will help them scale their ideas for social change and empowerment for a better Nigeria.
“It is exciting to be a part of a movement that recognises this new reality of changemaking in order to thrive and be successful in this rapidly changing world. If every child grows up with this gift of changemaking, the inequalities witnessed today shall be a thing of the past.
“Changemaking must become the new norm so that old systems become self-correcting as they will be managed by empathetic people who care for the good of all,” she added.
Global Director, Ashoka Yong Changemaker, Yasveer Singh Ashoka has also started the selection panel for Ashoka Young Changemakers (AYC) in Nigeria.
The AYC programme is a carefully selected network of young people under the age of 21, who demonstrate inspirational leadership in their communities by creating innovative solutions.
The AYC programme provides an enabling ecosystem for young changemakers to thrive by connecting them to changemaking tools, opportunities and supportive networks.