Beyond Remittance Group (BRG), a diaspora organization is set to train Simawa High School students in Digital Literacy, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Architecture, Carpentry Apprenticeship, Fashion Design and Marketing.
The BRG adopted Simawa High School in the Sagamu district of Ogun State in 2022 as part of its efforts to give back to Nigeria through improved education and skills acquisition support programs.
The initiative, Public-Private-Partnership for Education Equity (PP4EE) aims to enhance the overall quality of education for the students, upskill teachers and provide the array of resources necessary to improve learning capacity. To test run the initiative, BRG launched an Immersive Reading and Writing Summer pilot in 2022. The success of the pilot led to the full implementation of the program through 2022 and 2023.
The group is now taking further steps by introducing an “After School Program” starting in 2024 which would extend the school hours and provide the students opportunity to gain additional knowledge in digital literacy and vocational skills.
This was disclosed in a report titled “Simawa High School Progress Report and Developments Summary December, 2023”, addressed to the Commissioner of Education, Science and Technology, Prof Abayomi Arigbabu.
According to the group, the after school program is independent of the current summer program and will comprise three categories; a) Computer Literacy and Artificial Intelligence in partnership with Data Scientist Network (DSN), b) Beginner Architecture and Carpentry Apprenticeship c) Fashion Design and Marketing.
“The after school program will run in two sessions during the school regular calendar year, March through May and October through December. The classes will run for 3-hours per week, 12-hours per month for 3-months. The program will provide students an opportunity to acquire hands-on skills set and proficiency in their chosen category for a total of 36 hours. Participants will receive a certificate upon completion,” Ms Bukola Sonuga, the BRG’s Chief Executive Officer, informed the commissioner in the report.
She reflected on BRG activities in the adopted school, saying “BRG completed its 2023 Immersive Summer Program in Simawa High School this past September. Since the adoption of the school in the summer of 2022, we have hired three teachers and a project director. We continue to provide learning materials and ensure that the students are fed.”
Sonuga stated that efforts are in motion to commence work to build temporary classrooms to achieve the priority objective to reduce class size, to at least 50 students per class in Simawa High School.
“Most importantly, BRG’s long term goal to rebuild SIMAWA High School is in progress and to this end, we are ecstatic to announce the onboarding of retired veteran illustrious Architect, Professor David Aradeon to shepherd this project. Professor Aradeon graduated from Columbia University in New York in 1966 and taught Architecture at the University of Lagos from 1972 -1998. Among many recognitions, Professor Aradeon was honored with Nigerian National Order of Merit by The Nigerian Merit Award Board in Dec 2006. We will keep the Hon. Commissioner and the Ministry of Education abreast of the progress on this front,” she said.
The BRG also sought permission from the Ministry of Education to launch a Census Count in Simawa in 2024 tagged “Simawa Civic Education & Census Count.”
The group said “BRG’s approach to all its proposed intervention projects in Nigeria is rooted in the decades of sound education and practical knowledge we have acquired abroad. BRG relies on the proven frameworks used in Research and Development
“Following this trend, BRG deems it necessary to conduct a CENSUS COUNT in Simawa to ascertain the current population. We believe the Census Count exercise will yield two tangible results; 1) It would generate an accurate database of Simawa’s population, which in return will serve as an invaluable resource for all projects aimed at Simawa’s development by the BRG and other parties. 2) Provide a rare learning opportunity (civic education) for BRG’s target group, SS1 to SS3 students in Simawa High School.
“We are seeking permission from the Ministry of Education to launch the Census Count in 2024.”
The BRG also expressed concern over the safety of Simawa High School students due to lack of security measures including fencing of the school and called on the government to take urgent actions.
“We are imploring the Ministry of Education to fulfill the basic obligation to keep the students and staff safe by building a fence around Simawa High School. Ensuring security and safety is crucial to BRG’s mission to improve the quality of education and to the students overall experience in Simawa High School.”
Moreover, the BRG has congratulated Prof Abayomi Arigbabu on his reappointment as the Commissioner of Education, Science and Technology in Ogun State.
The group commended Arigbabu’s open door policy and commitment to education improvement in Ogun state.
The letter reads “The Beyond Remittance Group, BRG would like to congratulate you on your recent re-appointment as Ogun State Commissioner of Education by H.E. Governor Dapo Abiodun. In 2021 BRG contacted your office and the Ogun State Ministry of Education expressing our group’s interest in giving back to Nigeria—Beyond Remittance—by investing in human capital through foundational education. You opened the door, invited us to an open forum with the presence of the media and you later endorsed our proposal and facilitated the approval by the Ministry of Education.
“Markedly, you attended BRG’s “Immersive Summer Program 2022” inaugural launch in Simawa High School and delivered a heartfelt and inspiring keynote, lending support and credibility to the first of its kind diaspora education intervention initiative.”
“We wish you good health and look forward to continued and fruitful partnership with your office and the Ogun State Ministry of Education.”