“Through education, I have been able to create solutions which will create opportunities for children who do not have the opportunities I have had.”
Tell us about yourself.
I am Raidat Karim, a doctoral candidate with the African Leadership Centre at King’s College London. My research interests are focused on inequality, youth leadership, education, international development and women rights. I am also the project manager and team lead of Street2school. We are the Indigenous innovators of the first mobile school in Nigeria. A solution which solves the problem of lack of accessibility to education in communities in Nigeria through innovative technologies and equipping the communities with skills to educate the out of school children within the vicinity.
What inspired you to advocate for education?
Equality and change in the way things are done. I am inspired by the potential of Nigerians to achieve great things. An average Nigerian child dreams to do something beautiful, however, such desires are either limited or unattainable because of the lack of opportunity to achieve such goals. Creating a space where children and youth adults can access prospects is very inspiring. The obstacles to education are countless. Nonetheless, when proper education and skill are given without any hindrances you see potential unlocking and beautiful goals being achieved seamlessly.
What is one personal story that reflects the impact education has had on your life, or the life of someone you know?
Education has had a great impact on my life. I have learnt a lot about myself and my society through education. Most importantly I have learnt about people through education. Education has been a medium in which I have acquired knowledge on how things can be done better. The knowledge to know how things can work efficiently and how things have been done wrongly. Through education, I have been able to create solutions which will create opportunities for children who do not have the opportunities I have had. Education has given me the tools to think outside the box, it has also created a mind frame to innovate ideas that would solve pre-existing issues.
Through education, I have been able to create solutions which will create opportunities for children who do not have the opportunities I have had.
What is the biggest challenge facing young learners now, and what can we do to address the crisis?
The biggest challenge facing young learners now is the issue of accessibility to proper education. I lead a project called Street2School which helps in solving the issue of accessibility to education. We carried out intensive research in communities across the country. Our result showed there are 4 major challenges to education in Nigeria. Poverty, Social cultural and religious norms, Insufficient infrastructure and insecurity are the main hindrances facing young learners now. Due to the pandemic and the global economic crisis, these 4 hindrances are significantly heightened at the moment with an alarming rise of out-of-school children. This crisis can be solved by creating a sustainable solution which readily tackles these 4 hindrances. A solution that is supported by every level of society, community leaders, parents, and governments. Creating a solution that provides good quality education to young learners whilst educating society on the importance of education in a safe and secured environment. This suggestion is not as easy as it sounds because all 4 hindrances are intertwined by it is achievable.
All 17 Goals will be reviewed during the SDG Summit in 2023, the largest global moment since the launch of the 2030 Agenda eight years ago. What is your advice to education leaders and young people preparing for post-TES mobilization?
My advice to leaders and young people is to have conversations with anyone and everyone about the importance of change. Enlightening people goes a long way. Educating young learners is highly important but also teaching people around them about the significance of education and development is critical for lasting change. Opinions can change through education. Communities and surrounding relationships can frame the mind of young individuals and their ideologies. Through enlightenment and conversations, we can all make a conscious effort in changing the narrative.
My advice to leaders and young people is to have conversations with anyone and everyone about the importance of change.
Who is your superhero that you admire and why?
My superheroes will be the Nigerian youth. I am constantly inspired by the zeal and tenacity of the Nigerian youth. The strive for difference and inclusivity is beautiful. The voice of youth is constantly undermined and underrepresented in all areas of society. However, this has proven to not be a limitation for Nigerian youth. The Strive for success is incredibly paramount and it has been achieved on numerous occasions in various industries, from music to sport to technology etc. At various tables, globally Nigerian youths are paving the way for advancement, regardless of societal restraints. Consistency and perseverance continue to prevail. I ultimately find this inspiring and amusing to see people like myself strive tirelessly for success and difference in the way things have been done.