By Shola Akingboye, 16th March 2022
A female Presidential aspirant in the coming 2023 President race, Mrs Vivian Ebele Bello, is calling on Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, and members of the 9th National Assembly to as a matter of urgency work together to legally place a ban on foreign schools for the children of those occupying elective positions in the country, says only in doing so could trigger collective interests of stakeholders towards the rejuvenation of the Nigerian educational sector, visavis prevent the agelong strike actions by the Nigerian institutions of learning.
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. She said leaders in Nigeria must 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
It would be recalled that ASUU had embarked on a one-month warning strike in February 2022.
According to a statement signed and made available to RegentAfrica Times by the National Coordinator of her campaign team, Vanguard For Nigeria’s Salvage (VNS), Esemonu Gerald; Mrs Bello stated that it was disheartening to see the level of neglect and nonchalance attitude being displayed by this present administration towards the issue of education in the country.
She 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, says this was a guaranteed enabler of a nation’s socio-economic and political development, she said.
The presidential hopeful 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 further 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. 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 the 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 given this, it has become highly imperative to enact a law to criminalize foreign schooling for or by children or wards of public officials. She, therefore, calls on the National Assembly to immediately promulgate such a law. She said it is in doing so that will return the interests of all stakeholders, particularly state authorities and duty-bearers to what goes on with education in Nigeria, that this will go a long way in salvaging and restoring the sector to effectiveness towards meeting national goals and aspirations.