Blessing Adogame, a global citizen raised in Nigeria, Germany, Scotland, and the United States, draws on her diverse upbringing to empower individuals worldwide. Her nomadic life instilled a profound appreciation for learning and adaptability. Each transition between countries became an opportunity for self-discovery, fostering resilience in the face of challenges. Her commitment to supporting student development and access to education became evident during her time at university. Blessing initiated a global campaign that successfully mobilised over 20,000 students on LinkedIn, emphasising the importance of unlocking one’s full potential. Beyond the digital realm, Blessing shares her insights at the United Nations, schools globally, and STEM workshops supporting young black girls in the tech industry. Leveraging her diverse background, she actively unlocks doors for others and passionately advocates for the transformative power of education on a local and global scale. In her debut book, “Bound to Be Boundless,” Blessing shares captivating anecdotes and reflections from her multicultural upbringing. The book serves as an inspirational guide, encouraging readers to embrace their unique paths, overcome adversity, and unlock their boundless potential. Through her compelling storytelling, Blessing imparts valuable lessons, making her narrative a source of inspiration for those navigating their journeys toward personal and professional growth.
The current state of global education demands our attention, reflection, and most importantly, collective action. As someone born in Nigeria, raised in Germany, grew up in Scotland, established in United States, and currently studying in England, I embark on a journey into systems that claim to be the epitome of educational enlightenment but often fall short of equipping students with the practical skills needed to navigate the complexities of the modern world.
A System in Critique:
The educational system in Nigeria, much like in many other parts of the world, has been under intense scrutiny. A system criticised for its failure to adequately prepare students for the real-world challenges and opportunities that await them. The trifecta of inadequate funding, outdated curriculums, and staggeringly low literacy rates has created a breeding ground for a crisis – high unemployment rates among Nigerian graduates. Adding salt to the wound, prolonged strikes frequently disrupt the learning process, leaving students stranded without access to classrooms and educational resources.
However, the challenges in Nigeria are not unique. The global education landscape is marred by various issues that hinder its ability to foster true intellectual growth and empowerment. Let’s take a glimpse into the struggles faced by two other nations – Germany and Scotland.
In Germany, a country lauded for its economic prowess and technological advancements, a crisis is unfolding. A severe shortage of qualified teachers has led to overcrowded classrooms and diminishing quality of education. The very foundation of a student’s educational journey is compromised when the mentors guiding them lack the necessary qualifications and resources.
Meanwhile, in Scotland, the early stages of child development are neglected. The critical phase in a child’s life, where foundations for future learning are laid, often becomes a battleground for academic pressures. Expectations placed on children before they develop the essential skills for successful learning can have detrimental effects on their long-term well-being.
In the United States, the challenge lies in retaining K-12 teachers. Factors such as low compensation, feeling overworked, and undervaluation contribute to a situation where school districts struggle to attract and keep enough teachers. The repercussions are profound, with students bearing the brunt of an unstable educational environment.
I am a product of these diverse yet crumbling education systems.
Empowering Youth in the Digital Era:
Education is the cornerstone of progress. In today’s dynamic global landscape, technology stands as a formidable ally in the journey of today’s youth, not just to survive but to thrive. Acting as a gateway to a vast realm of information, online platforms, webinars, and educational resources empower young individuals to engage in continuous learning, equipping them with the skills needed to navigate the complexities of an ever-evolving world. Technology’s role extends beyond individual growth, fostering global connectivity through social media and virtual events. These digital platforms enable youth to build diverse networks, collaborate on a global scale, and access myriad opportunities, breaking down geographical barriers and creating a connected world where knowledge knows no bounds.
Simultaneously, technology serves as a catalyst for entrepreneurial ventures, offering tools for innovation and creativity. From e-commerce platforms to digital marketing, the digital landscape empowers youth to explore and establish their ventures, contributing to a culture of entrepreneurship. The transformative power of technology is evident in its ability to redefine traditional work structures. Remote work and virtual collaboration, made possible by the digital landscape, provide flexibility, allowing youth to contribute to global projects without being bound by geographical constraints. In essence, technology is not just a tool; it’s a force shaping the future, enabling today’s youth to advocate for change, prioritise mental health and well-being, foster financial literacy, promote environmental sustainability, and drive innovation in problem-solving. By embracing the potential of technology, the youth of today can actively shape a thriving, interconnected global landscape.
Reimagining New Futures in Africa:
The emergence of new technologies in Africa has not only provided us with the space to envision new futures but has also created opportunities for individuals to bridge digital divides and expand their professional portfolios, not just for personal growth but also for social impact. It has become a space for people to cultivate their voices, gain agency, and harness the power of technology to craft alternative narratives rooted in their lived experiences. My insight here is grounded in my journey as a young African woman navigating multiple worlds and grappling with the digital divide. It aims not only to reimagine a new future for young African individuals but also to empower them to use technology to inspire and uplift others. As we think about emerging technologies in Africa, the focus must extend beyond solely bridging the digital gap to reconsider how we empower and equip individuals to leverage these technologies. With less than 40% of Africans using the internet, the conversation should revolve around not just technological advancements but also ensuring accessibility of these technologies, information, and data for widespread empowerment.
I draw upon my experiences and endeavors to empower African youth through prominent digital platforms such as LinkedIn and YouTube. Specifically, strategies for defining, building, and enhancing their digital presence, particularly on LinkedIn—a platform that can liberate and celebrate their unique stories. I pose essential questions: How can we empower African citizens and members of the global south to reshape their narrative using the power of technology and education? How can young women envision an Africa that not only withstands change but thrives amid it? How can resources be leveraged to empower the youth, enabling them to take charge of their digital presence, alter narratives, and tell authentic stories that reshape their future and that of youth across the continent and beyond?
In the pursuit of shaping global citizens in the digital age, it becomes increasingly evident that the intersection of education and technology is not just a meeting point but a transformative link. As we navigate the complexities of our interconnected world, the role of Education and Technology emerges as a guiding force, empowering learners with tools to transcend geographical boundaries and fostering a sense of global citizenship. The digital landscape, when harnessed for educational purposes, becomes a catalyst for inclusivity, collaboration, and a shared understanding of the diverse tapestry of our global community. In this journey, the commitment to shaping empathetic, informed, and socially responsible global citizens stands as a testament to the potential within our grasp. As we continue to innovate, adapt, and embrace the opportunities afforded by Technology, we pave the way for a future where education becomes a powerful force in shaping individuals equipped to contribute meaningfully to our interconnected and dynamic world.