By Chimezie Godfrey
Female Presidential Aspirant in the forthcoming 2023 General Elections, Mrs Vivian Ebele Bello, has called on Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari to spare a thought for the young Nigerian children whose lives and future are being effectively jeopardized by the decay and collapse of education in Nigeria, by addressing the root causes of the festering problems in the sector.
Mrs Bello stated this while reacting to the announcement of a two-month extension of strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities, ASUU, on Monday of this week.
ASUU had embarked on a one-month warning strike in February, 2022. She stated that it was disheartening to see the level of neglect and nonchalant attitude being displayed by the administration towards the issue of education in the country and pointed out that this has dire consequences for the young children of the country and the nation at large.
According to her, “Education is the bedrock of the development of any nation and every nation worth its salt puts in all it has in terms of resources, structures and enabling laws and policies to see to it that its citizens maximize the best potentials of this sector as this was a guaranteed enabler of a nation socio-economic and political development”.
The presidential Aspirant and a foremost Rights Activist explained that already, the country was faring bleakly in education indices with over 3 million Nigerian children out of school, while a great number of public schools in operation in the country grapple with several challenges, including lack of proper funding, leading to recurrent and persistent strikes by unions in the sector.
She pointed out that the continued systematic destruction of the educational system and structure in Nigeria by leaders of the country was already having palpable consequences as according to her, many of the young Nigerians, who embrace and give themselves to banditry, kidnapping and the various other forms of criminality are young people who the country could not offer affordable and meaningful education to activate their innate talents and mould them into useful individuals to the society.
She identified the high-level of neglect of the sector to the fact that children of majority of public officials, particularly elected ones, do not school in Nigeria and thus the public officials have little or no stake in what goes on in the educational sector in the country.
Bello said that in view of this, it has become highly imperative, for a law to criminalize foreign schooling for or by children or wards of public officials, and called on the national assembly to immediately promulgate this.
She said so doing will return interest of all stakeholders, particularly state authorities and duty-bearers to what goes on with education in Nigeria and go a long way in salvaging and restoring the sector to effectiveness towards meeting national goals and aspirations.