Finland Ambassador to Nigeria, Pirjo Suomela-Chowdhury has identified education as the only factor that can turn around the fortunes of any nation.
Suomela-Chowdhury who stated this at the 10th anniversary of Total School Support Seminar/Exhibition (TOSSE) in Lagos said education had been the most important element in building her home country in the 100 years of its independence.
"Education has been the most important element in building my country during the 100 years of our independence. It is indeed a very central building block of the equality-gender and otherwise that characterises Finland. We believe that everyone deserves an equal start in life and that equality of opportunity is ultimately what brings the best out of our people and what best serves our society. Therefore, in the spirit of this year's event, we should stress the importance of coming together to build strategic partnerships. We should also be able to collaborate with all those who have something to contribute to building an education system that maximises each student's potential,"
"There are indeed many things to share as I look forward to increased collaboration between Finland and Nigeria in the area of education. For individuals, education has also been a powerful instrument of social mobility that has transformed lives."
She also stressed the need for teachers to be motivated in any school system."
Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer of EDUMARK, Mrs Yinka Ogunde, said her passion for excellence was the catalyst behind the sustenance of the yearly event. "It has not been easy all these years, indeed, it has been a journey and a learning experience and with focus, we have been able to come this far.
Ogunde who stressed the importance of collaboration to the development of the sector pointed out that to truly reform education in Nigeria, the place of collaboration must strongly be recognised and shared.
She said, "Competition has a role in global economics, but collaboration has an increasingly more important role in today's world. So important is the need for collaboration that researchers tell us that of all the seven skills today's learners need to thrive in the future, collaboration is key.
"It is obvious that the statistics in education currently do not look good but when we work together, support worthy causes and collaborate strategically, there is so much we can do."