"In business, we rarely have the luxury of making an investment decision with as much evidence as we have to support the economic value of investing in early childhood development and education... Put bluntly, in my terms, they are a financial no-brainer. The only question is 'how strong is the ROI?' The answer. Two or three or more than one."
- John Pepper, former CEO Procter & Gamble
ROI means Return On Investment
I have noticed the trend most business
organisations follow in their corporate social responsibility agenda. I sometimes wonder if as a people, we have misled them with the notion of what our collective interests are. It seems to me that many people undermine the need for us to drive change in the education sector by our very limited advocacy. It is time for us to up this discussion by seeking support from the corporate world for the right courses.
Business leaders can take various steps to help children access quality education.
1. Support access to quality early childhood education through secondary education in their communities and states by sponsoring a child or donating teaching aids, classroom materials and building standard science and art laboratories.
2. Support programmes to train pre-kindergarten and elementary grade teachers in math and science to encourage inventions and innovations.
3. Offer employees information on engaging their children in fun activities for basic school subjects.
Provide portable early care centers for employees within their premises.
4. Provide expertise, volunteers and resources to local schools to help develop play-based, hands on science, technology engineering and math (STEM) programs.
They may even support radio and TV shows that advocate all of the above and more. We know for certain that investing in quality early childhood education programmes in Nigeria not only ensures that all children have access to quality education, but has long term economic benefits for the nation.
"By age 5, it is possible to predict, with depressing accuracy who will complete high school and college and who won't."
- David Brooks, Columnist
New York Times
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