By Haruna Salami
Topfaith International Secondary School, Mkpatak, Akwa Ibom state has come tops at the National
Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) 2022 National Quiz Competition for Senior
Secondary Schools in Nigeria.
At the grand finale of the competition held at the National Assembly, Abuja Thursday Topfaith beat six
other secondary schools who were zonal champions from the six geo-political zones and the Federal
Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
Model Secondary School, Akure, Ondo state came second while Global Kids Academy, Sokoto, Sokoto
state came third.
Other schools that participated at the grand finale on Thursday, but were not so lucky are Saint
Augustine College, Jos, Plateau state (North Central), Government Secondary School, Gwarimpa, Life
Camp (FCT), Grounvig International Secondary School, Oba, Anambra state (South East) and Immaculate
Conception Secondary School, Bauchi, Bauchi state North East) who came fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh
Senate President Ahmad Lawan, who declared the competition open observed that “educating girl-child
is better than women empowerment”.
Lawan posited that educating the girl child is far better than empowering women as education is the
best form of empowerment in life”.
An educated girl child, he added, will hardly be vulnerable at the stage of womanhood for the type of
women empowerment programmes being carried out in the country today at various levels.
“If you want to empower women, you don’t do that only through organising city women and say they
must have this and that, go back to the basis by giving the girl child quality education.
“They don’t have to beg anybody to get there once they are educated, they don’t have to beg anybody
saying give us this percentage or that of whatever position.
“Education of the girl-child is very important for any society or country that wants to be genuinely
developed and I’m very happy that girls are well represented among the competing schools here today .
He observed that out of the seven participating schools, two are public schools while the remaining five
are private schools, which he said tells the story that our “private schools are more successful”.
The Senate President, who is also the Chairman of the Governing Council of NILDS, advocated that
“government must invest more in public schools”, adding that “education up to secondary school should
be a must and free”.
“When you have people educated, they can take care of their health and they cannot join bandits and
Boko Haram”, he said.
He also made a case for private schools to be supported by making some resources available to them
since they are making significant contributions to the development of education I the country.
“I notice there is a good if girls here. That shows that if you want to empower women, you don’t to beg
anybody, just educate them. This represents Nigeria of tomorrow where men and women join hands to
build the country”.
The Director General of National Broadcasting Commission ( NBC) , Balarabe Shehu Ilelah in his remarks
, said the content of the annual national quiz competition of NILDS which dwells on practice of
democracy and in particular, the role of the legislature, should be amplified further through television
programmes for children.
The NBC boss who was represented by Mrs. Clementine Usman Wamba , an Assistant Director in the
agency , said thematic channels for packaging of such programmes are available .
“What NILDS is doing and aiming to achieve with the annual National Quiz Competition among senior
secondary schools across the country on practice of democracy, should not stop at the various venues
but transformed them into content that can be aired on television through any of the thematic
channels”, she said.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Director – General of NILDS, Professor Abubakar Olanrewaju
Sulaiman said the Nigerian Legislature is no doubt one of the most misunderstood arm of government ,
narrative of which is being changed with the instrumentality of the quiz competition.
“To this effect, NILDS is further encouraged to collaborate with research institutes and relevant agencies
of government to develop curriculum on Legislative and Democratic studies for inclusion in the civic
Education, Social Studies, Government and other curricular for basic as well as Senior Secondary
Education to enrich their contents and bridge the knowledge gaps in the legislature”, he said.
The Chairman Senate Committee on Appropriations, Barau Jibrin, who represented Lawan at closing
ceremony presented the trophy to the winners.
The Kano lawmaker also made a personal donated a computer to each of 14 participating students, two
each from the six geo-political zones and the FCT, Abuja.