By Oshione Wisdom Agunu, Global Schools Advocate, Nigeria
My experience as a Global school’s advocate has been fulfilling and memorable. Our mission as an advocate included reaching out to schools in our community, creating awareness about the Global Schools Program (GSP) as well as helping schools and teachers to engage their students on the message of sustainability and global citizenship education. I believe this was achieved during my 7 months term as an advocate. However, my first attempt to reach out to schools through emails proved unsuccessful as no school replied to the emails sent to them. I later discovered that most schools do not frequently check their email accounts, nor have they adopted email as a frequent means of communication.
My next move was an in-person visit to some private schools within my environment after contacting them via phone. I introduced myself as an advocate for the GSP and gave presentations about the SDGs and the GSP. It was indeed a fulfilling experience discussing and interacting with a lot of teachers and educational administrators and doing this further motivated me. The highlight of my advocacy was when I successfully obtained approval from the Universal Basic Education Board-FCT, the District Education board for public schools in Abuja, Nigeria. Thankfully, I got the approval, with the help of another advocate, which gave me the leeway to approach the principals of public schools and introduce the GSP in their schools. This was a huge step for me because it meant that I could go to any of the 169 public schools (representing up to 15,000 teachers and over 200,000 students) in the capital of Nigeria and they would give me an audience. Sadly, I got the approval letter a few weeks to the end of my 7-month term as an advocate. Nevertheless, I was able to give a couple of presentations to a few public secondary schools around me.
My period of advocacy for the GSP was very challenging yet rewarding. It remains an outstanding and fulfilling one because I was able to interact with several students, teachers, school heads and even government officials, discussing and promoting education for sustainable. development. At the end of my seven-months period as an advocate, my fellow Nigerian advocates and I held a webinar for educators and other educational stakeholders. It was a nice time discussing ways of continuing the education of school children during the Covid-19 pandemic.