On February 12, 2019, the Community and Public
Engagement (CPE) team project – led by Dr Adesola Olumide from the Adolescent Health unit of the Institute of Child Health, a collaborator with the Society for Adolescent and Young People’s Health in Nigeria (SAYPHIN) – hosted a stakeholders’ forum, named, “Education is a Vaccine”. The stakeholders’ forum was part of a Community Engagement Project (Gown and town: Synergy for Enhanced Societal Impact), sponsored by DELTAS Africa to engage with in and out-of-school adolescents and teachers to examine facilitators and barriers to senior secondary school retention. The aim of the stakeholders’ forum was to provide the adolescent participants with an opportunity to present their thoughts about the barriers and enablers of senior secondary school retention and relevant interventions to address the barriers to a wider group of stakeholders. Stakeholders included government and private school owners, teachers, school principals, media and researchers. The forum also served as a basis for in-depth discussion of the importance of senior secondary school retention and completion.
The focus of the engagement event was in line with the themes of the 2019 and 2020 International Youth days celebrated on August 12 every year. The 2019 International Youth Day, 2019, “Transforming education” highlighted efforts to make education more relevant, equitable and inclusive for all youth (https://www.un.org/development/desa/youth/iyd2019.html); while the theme for the International Youth Day 2020, “Youth Engagement for Global Action”, sought to highlight the impact of engagement of young people on governments and other institutions as well as on the youth (https://www.un.org/development/desa/youth/iyd2020.html). Additional information about the Gown and Town, CPE activity and the International Youth Days, 2019 and 2021 are below: