…….Unveils Future Plans
Concerned Parents and Educators Initiative, (CPE), a Facebook group and non-government organisation which has been on since 2015, recently presented its score card to Journalist as well as its plans for the future.
According to the founder, Mrs. Yinka Ogunde the group was founded to create an online platform to bring parents and schools together “because we saw the huge gap between them.
“No sooner did we do this than a bigger mandate emerged as we began to see the extent of the decay in the system. We received all kinds of reports involving schools and parents from various parts of the country and we knew that this was much bigger than we even envisaged,” she added.
She also disclosed that CPE initiative has grown to over 105,000 members (both in and outside Nigeria) and this clearly makes it one of the biggest education focused group in the country today.
“We are keenly aware of the fact that we have been put in a vantage position to transform the Education landscape in our nation and we have chosen to fulfill that mandate.”
Saying that over the last four years, the group has initiated various transforming projects and which have made great impact in the lives of Nigerians, Ogunde said 2019 was an exception because the group was able to touch more lives especially at the grassroots in the Lagos state.
“This year we have recorded quite a number of things, we started off the year with our ‘gift connect’, the gift connect thing was something that we decided to do even without having any former secretariat in place.
“It was at the gift connect that we told people that if you need anything put it on the platform and if you have anything you want to give away put it on the platform, that was really a divine kind of thing because we never knew the extent needs of people. Is on record and am sure that nothing less than 50 families were helped to pay school fees by people that I don’t know.”
The second according to her was the short story challenge, “I think we did it twice this year and we were able to bring together quiet a number of talented writers and also got three winners who were appreciated.
“The third thing I will put on our score sheet will be the one that really touches my heart that was the donation of five cerebral palsy wheel chair to Super Parents, a group that cater for children who has cerebral palsy and special needs children.
“We have excess of about 480,000 left from the money contributed which we awarded to Jesus House in Ibadan, we gave them part of it and we said we will use the remaining to give them one wheel chair.”
She explained further: “Along the line also we began a project on support low cost schools, institutions, and that has taken us to another dimension entirely because we have over 6,000 low cost institutions in Lagos State alone.
“For us it has done about two or three things, first it has opened our eyes to the acute need within our society, secondly it has been like a fact finding mission for us because we never knew such things existed and we always sort of assumed that government must take responsibility and we saw things from another dimension entirely.
“Thirdly, we saw that no matter how little that little can make a difference in one person’s life and this last term we were able to pay the school fees of 290 students before they closed,” Ogunde revealed.
Adding that the platform has become a data gathering point for education development in the country, the founder said “we didn’t call for it but it has come to the dimension that we need to take things very serious, we have gone through a lot of things that we have been doing, we have done a lot of fact finding, we have supported the schools, we were doing a lot of charity here and there but we’ve seen that it goes beyond that.
‘That is why I said I also want to talk about the future for CPE because we have a choice that we will stay as we are and just continue but we’ve also seen that we have the capacity and we say what can we do, one of the things we want to do in 2020 is to support parents and children in very poor communities nationwide to give their children basic education.
“We also intend to remain a strong advocate for education reforms in the country as we continue to point out various areas where intervention is needed.
“We are open to collaboration with other groups and organisations that truly desire to make a difference, all these and much more because we are truly concerned and we know that the future of this nation will depend on the kind of education we provide for young Nigerians,” she added.