Oando Plc, Nigeria’s leading indigenous energy solutions provider, is proud to announce the 10th year anniversary of Oando Foundation. This announcement is a celebration of 10 years of the Foundation impacting lives and building the next generation of changemakers via the provision of quality basic education.
Nigeria’s exponential population growth has put immense pressure on the country’s resources, public services and infrastructure.
According to UNICEF, about 45% of the Nigerian population are children under the age of 15 or younger. The impact of this growth has overwhelmed the public-school system, negatively impacting education standards and outcomes.
UNICEF states that one in every five of the world’s out-of-school children is in Nigeria. Despite primary education being compulsory and officially free, about 10.5 million of the country’s children aged 5-14 years are out of school. Only 61% of 6-11-year-olds regularly attend primary school and only 35.6% percent of children aged 36-59 months receive early childhood education.
Consequently, on February 4, 2011, the Company established Oando Foundation as an independent charity to support the Nigerian Government in actualizing its Universal Basic Education (UBE) goals. Since inception the Foundation has taken a multifaceted approach to education that delivers a superior learning environment for both pupils and teachers alike.
Rooted in the belief that a nation’s progress is intricately linked to the strength of its education system, the Foundation through strategic alliances with key Government institutions, Non-Governmental Organizations, International Development Organizations and Private Sector Organizations is actively working towards enabling Nigeria meet the Sustainable Development Goal 4 with a focus on access to quality basic education.
Today, the Foundation’s flagship programme is its Adopt-a-School Initiative (AASI) which strives to address the needs of students, teachers, school leaders and the education community through Infrastructure Development, Establishment of ICT/Creative centers, Early Childhood Care and Development centers, Teacher capacity building and Scholarship Programs.
Some notable achievements include the Foundation’s adoption of 88 public primary schools across the country, enrolling over 60,000 out-of-school children (OOSC) with a cumulative retention rate of 77%, building and renovating 249 classrooms and 5 Early Childcare Centers, distributing over 25,000 teaching and learning aids and the award of 1,153 scholarships to brilliant, under-served children from adopted schools to transit and complete secondary school.
Speaking on the 10-year milestone, the Group Chief Executive, Oando PLC, Adewale Tinubu said: ”Congratulations Oando Foundation on your 10th anniversary and to all those who have supported your journey towards changing the future of our youths and nation. A decade ago, we saw a vision for Nigeria – a Nigeria where poverty of the mind would be a thing of the past; where opportunities would exist for every Nigerian child because they have been given access to quality basic education and the ability to lift themselves out of poverty. Like Benjamin Franklin, I believe “that an investment in knowledge pays the best interest, it yields immeasurable economic and social rewards for individuals and nations”. While by no means the only door to opportunity, education remains one of the principal ways to achieve robust human development, reducing poverty and exclusion. Thus, despite the enormity of the educational challenge in Nigeria, Oando Foundation is an indicator that it is indeed surmountable if we all come together to play our part – a part that we have proudly played and continue to play. As a proudly indigenous company, we are invested in building the African economy by using education to nurture the next generation of leaders. I am extremely proud of the impact the Foundation has made in the lives of over 1.7 million Nigerian children, and I commend them for a decade of successfully working towards bridging the gap in our primary education system, as well as giving indigent children the hope of a brighter future. Thank you to every #HumansOfOando and partner for bringing Oando Foundation one step closer to actualizing her dream. We are in an era defined as the decade of action to achieve the SDGs – I and by virtue Oando PLC are privileged to partner with the Foundation as she plays her role in actualizing SDG4.”
Education is a human right and a strong catalyst for social progress. If we continue to leave vast numbers of children outside the orbit of education, we make the world not only less just, but also less secure. Closing educational gaps, and removing the enormous disparities in educational access, inclusion and achievement is a prerequisite for making the world more secure as well as equitable.
Commenting on the milestone celebration, Head, Oando Foundation, Adekanla Adegoke said, “Today more than ever, we are reminded that education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. We remain committed to designing and implementing multi-dimensional education interventions that support schools, communities, and the Nigerian Government in realizing Sustainable Development Goal 4.”