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CHILDREN’S DAY: ANYTHING TO CELEBRATE!!? May 27, 2015

Posted by seunfakze in EDUCATION, POLITICS.
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The Chibok girls have been kidnapped now over a year, and in many minds, they are better forgotten than remembered amongst the countless and daunting challenges facing our nation. Tragically, we cannot forget, the families cannot forget their children are still missing, nor can well meaning people forget. Without hope, what are we? Many children who can attend schools form a “fortunate” or privileged class in Nigeria. A lot others cannot attend school: deliberately because of choice (poverty, supporting their parents in hawking, amongst others) or by decision of leaders (dis-incetivized through lack of teaching conditions/resources and infrastructures).

On Monday, I travelled to a community in Birnin Gwari Local Government of Kaduna State, where for the past 10 years, no child had attended any form of schooling in the community. No individual in that community speaks English Language. Needless to say, communication was a difficult ordeal for me given my shambolic ability to communicate in the native language: Hausa. Likewise, I travelled to Sanga local Government in Kaduna State yesterday 26th May, 2015 where I had the rare unfortunate privilege of witnessing firsthand the inhumane deplorable condition under which our children were learning. Nigeria ranks the nation with the highest number of out-of-school children (10.5million), this should naturally propel leaders to a reflective and decisive mode in solving the issues obstructing our children from their educational pursuit.

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Educational reform centred on curriculum, teachers training and welfare, and infrastructural development for our children should ultimately be the focus of leaders. Not so as I witnessed across my 6 days sojourn around Kaduna’s 23 local government area. Sanga (Gwantu community) particularly captured my attention because in about three of the schools i went to, the children were “learning” out in the open; not because they needed some aeration but because their school infrastructure had actually collapsed.

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In many of the schools, community partnership and help were more than the attention and concern sought from government. Not only were teachers morale low, in some cases the teachers were visibly absent. Kaduna state, according to records, has earned about N600bn since 2007 in federal revenue. How this has been spent remains a mystery. In a state where many health centres have little to nothing in equipment, besides the General hospitals where you hardly find a sitting doctor, one wonders what Governor Ramalan Yero had been up to. I visited four General hospitals, and sojourned through the pothole ridden roads; they are nothing to write about. For me personally, anyone who took advantage of state resource and expropriated public funds deserve to face the full wrath of the law if found guilty after prosecution.

People die daily across these uncompleted roads, mothers and other patients are dying because of lack of resources at our hospitals and our nation is imperilled because our children are not learning at all, many discouraged from attending schools and others have resorted to crime. We cannot continue as a nation where and when there are no deterrents for crimes perpetrated by thieves and rogues in our leadership positions.

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