As Nigeria celebrates the children’s day on Thursday, the Nigeria Union of Teachers had called on the government to return out-of-school-children back to the classroom.
Secretary-General of NUT, Dr Mike Ike-Ene, in an interview with our correspondent said if the out-of-school-children were not assisted, they would become a social menace to their educated counterparts.
He advised the government to remove all children wandering on the streets and enroll them in schools, adding that some of them were orphans, victims of herdsmen and bandits attacks.
Ike-Ene said, “For those not in school, either as a result of being in IDPs or chased away by herders, bandits, we want the government to take step to gather them and ensure they give them education. Some of them have lost their parents and just wandering on the streets. Once you do not give them education, they will become a menace to those who have applied education and that is where inequality comes in, so government should make education accessible, equitable, and quality in nature.”
He also called on the government to provide instructional materials, infrastructure and motivate teachers who were critical stakeholders in the education sector.
“We are requesting the government to always do the needful by providing infrastructure, and instructional materials, children are not supposed to sit under any tree to receive lectures, the moment it happens, you are hardening them. Government should ensure that the providers of education; the teachers remain the most critical factor in the school, they should be motivated so that they can help the children become what they should be,” he explained.
Ike-Ene also encouraged every Nigerian to have a change of heart and help every child achieve greatness.
He said, “We are all part of the government, if everybody has a change of heart and attitude, our children will overcome, malpractice, nepotism and all sorts of social vices by looking at the elders who are all part of the government.”
Similarly, the national president, National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools, Mr Yomi Otubela, said schools and homes must remain vigilant and ensure all safety procedures are in place at all times.
“In the last few years, Nigerian children have had a fair share of the insecurity challenges that have continued to ravage the social fabric of the country. This has manifested in form of kidnappings, killings, raping in schools and at home.”
He also advised the stakeholders in education to ensure that the impact of COVID-19 was minimised in the education sector.
“This calls for policymakers, educational administrators, to fashion out ways to minimise the impact of the COVID- 19 pandemic while ensuring that learning activities are achieved seamlessly and without interruption.”