In commemoration of the 2024 International Day for Education (IDE), a Kwara-based Non-Governmental Organization “Pristine SACC Educational and Technology Initiative, at the weekend, hosted a Global Cultural Awareness training programme for teachers and students in the state, emphasising the importance of understanding different cultures, beliefs and values.
According to the organisers, the training programme aimed at fostering cultural appreciation, global citizenship, and quality education. About 25 teachers and 150 students selected from schools within Ilorin, the state capital participated in the programme.
The Executive Director of Pristine SACC, Mrs Umar Aisha, noted that the programme represented her organisation’s commitment towards “empowering African communities to assume active roles both locally and globally, in building more tolerant, peaceful, inclusive and secure societies.”
She added that her organisation focuses on promoting United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal, SDG 4 and 16 that hinges on quality education and promoting peace, justice, and strong institutions for sustainable development.
Aisha, who urged teachers and students to join hands in creating a society that values diversity, equality, and collaboration, said “Education is not just about acquiring knowledge: It is also about empowering individuals to be the architects of a brighter, and more harmonious future.
“It is through collective consciousness and appreciation of various cultures besides ours that we build bridges, dispel stereotypes, and pave the way for a more tolerant and interconnected world.”
The programme featured a panel discussion which had speakers participating virtually from different parts of the world including Lara Casiola; a strategy consultant and social impact specialist, Dr Mary Grogan; an educator and coach from the University of Toronto, Canada, and Allan Martinez, a strategist and researcher who specializes in global development and social impact.
While sharing diverse experiences, the panelists spoke on the intersection of education and global citizenship and how students can take full advantage of their culture to connect with the global community. They emphasized that promoting cultural diversity would prevent conflict, discrimination, and miscommunication that may want to arise as a result of cultural differences.
“In these times of rapid change, disruption, and polarization, we must share space and support with others who are working toward social change and equity to remain positive and hopeful. This ensures that we can continue to learn, be inspired, and grow into inclusive and compassionate leaders who create healthy, safe, peaceful communities where every voice matters,” Dr Grogan said.
In her own presentation, Mrs Morenikeji Akinola, a culinary expert and cultural diversity enthusiast, spoke on “leveraging local cuisine to connect with the global community.” She educated teachers and students on the concepts of local and global cuisine while delving into food tourism, and also challenging some preconceived notions about global cuisine.
Also speaking, the Programme Director of Pristine SACC, Mr. Sodiq Ajala, encouraged teachers and students to apply global cultural awareness knowledge inside and outside the classroom, stressing that promoting global cultural appreciation through education would positively impact teaching job sustainability and foster global citizenship.
He said that “with happenings around the world, embracing cultural diversity matters now more than ever. Undoubtedly, the promotion of global cultural exchange and awareness is expected to mitigate cultural discrimination, cultural shocks, cultural prejudice, and stereotypes, contributing to the creation of a responsive and enabling environment.”