16 July 2021 By Remi Johnson
Government at all levels, International Development Partners and Stakeholders in the Education Sector have been urged to step up Advocacy to ensure implementation of free and compulsory Universal Basic Education Act 2004.
National President, Association For Public Policy Analysis, APPA, Nigeria, Comrade Princewill Okorie who made the call during the inauguration of the Association’s Advisory Council and Unveiling of the Basic Education Advocacy Newsletter in Abuja; decried the increasing number of out of school children across the country.
Comrade Okorie who frowned at the denial of children the right to basic education said it would promote class distinction between the rich and the poor, hatred , envy, Anger and unpatriotic spirit among children.
” The increasing number of out of school children now estimated at 10.5 million is disturbing and calls for urgent action by stakeholders in government …Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a strong mechanism or programme put in place at the federal level to make states key in for a universal approach towards limiting, preventing or stopping the problem in line with part 1, section 2 of the UBE Act 2004.”
Comrade Princewill Okorie also used the medium to call on the media to always hold stakeholders accountable on how allocated funds to various sectors were being spent by investigating and reporting on the issues.
His words: .”..the situation calls for question as to prudent management of over one hundred and eighty-eight billion Naira injected by the federal government into the basic education sector from 2016 to 2020.”
Reviewing the Newsletter, the Dean, Faculty of Education, University of Abuja, Professor Benedict Umaru who commended the association for championing the course for effective inclusiveness in Basic Education, stressed the need for moral and ethical values to be inculcated in children at the early stages of life.
“…emphasis on ethics is key. It’s so sad that some parents aid their children in examination misconduct. Admission policies sometimes are not straight. When my ward know that I have to bribe my way through for her to get admission, we are Laying a very very faulty foundation”
On her part, Member National Advisory Council APPA, Dr Jumai Ahmadu who was represented by Mrs Favour Shuaib called for urgent intervention of government in addressing the spate of insecurity , particularly in schools towards achieving the target of Universal Basic Education goals in the country.
In their various goodwill messages, the Provost of the college of Education Zuba, Nigeria University Commission and ICPC representatives gave indication that creating an enabling environment for all children to acquire basic education, would help the Nigerian child to be better positioned to compete meaningfully among comity of nations, and bridge the dichotomy being witnessed in the kind of education the children of the “Haves and the Have nots” get.