NIGERIAN CHILDREN HAVE BEEN ROBBED OF A FUTURE
EDUCATE A CHILD (EACH)
Educate a child is a project which shall identify out of school children from less-privileged homes and return them back to school.
UNICEF in a recent publication stated that, 45% of the entire population in Nigeria are below 15 years, and 40% of those children between age 6-11 do not attend any primary school.
With a such statistics, it is safe to conclude that, almost half of the entire children in Nigeria have been robbed of a future, and that future, we must do everything within our capacity to give them back.
The UN also stated in a report that, 57 million children are out of school globally, but Nigeria currently has the highest number of out of school children in the world. 10.5 million children in Nigeria are out of school. In a nutshell, Nigeria account for 20% out of school children in the world.
Also In 2010, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in a report quoted a 13 year old Nigerian child, Aminu Harona saying, I just want to earn some money to help my parents. In search of that money, Aminu became a bus conductor since aged 10. To him and many others like him, there is no thinking of any future, there is no dream, no expectation. The only thing they think of is how to work to feed and assist their parents.
Investigation further shows that, many children do not attend school because their labour is needed to either help their parents at home or to bring additional income into the family. Despite the much touted free education being advertised by government, many families cannot afford the associated cost of sending their children to school such as uniforms,textbooks and other materials. Some children also need to engage in labour to be able to meet a basic necessity such as food. And for others, the distance to the nearest school is a major hinderance and their parents can't afford to bear such costs.
In addition, study also shows that, some children that were enrolled in primary school later dropped out due to compounding challenges. Current data shows that, 30% of pupils dropout of primary school and 54% transit to junior secondary school. Reason for this low completition rate include child labour and economic hardship.
As a result of the above reasons, almost one out of three primary school age and one in four junior secondary school aged children are out of school in Nigeria
In view of this, I believe that, such a scary statistics need a proactive response, not just from the government, but also from all well meaning citizen of the country.
This is so because, if every individual or group can take responsibility for educating a child, our society would have been saved from future consequenes of massive uneducated citizens. Indeed, our country would have been saved from the ugly consequence of ignorance, such as insecurity,unnecessary violence and many.
Education is the key to lock and unlock wealth. The roadmap to civilization, tool for growth and route to development. It is the beginning and ending of every succesful nation. If we had all been denied access to education while growing up as children, it is very unlikely that we would be here today. And if we are not here, where exactly would we be? To some extent, all educated children have a reason to dream and look into a future they desire. They have reason to hope and dream of wanting to become a lawyer, enterprenuer,law enforcement agents, doctor,lecturer, engineer, president, governor or peace personalities. What is making them dream and be hopeful in such future is their education.
On the other hand, what can the uneducated children in our society hope for? What can they dream of becoming? We do not know, but what we know is that, an uneducated mind is an ignorant mind, and an ignorant mind is likely to end up worthless or become a tool for evil agenda.
Therefore, should we then watch our innocent children grow up to become threats to our survival as a nation? Should we continue to watch helplessly while Nigerian children are growing up without any education into an unknown future, nor can we allow them become tools for evil agenda's used against our peaceful co-existence?.
If we are thinking of educating our children alone without thinking of other children,those uneducated children may grow up to become threats to our children education and even to our children's life. While the educated children are hoping to be great, the uneducated may be hoping to destroy all greatness. While we are thinking to build, they might be thinking to destroy and while we are hoping to save lives, they may be hoping to kill. Therefore, We must prevent such a catastrophic future by simply supporting the child of peace project to educate a child.
To prevent the over 10.5 million children from an uncertain future, peace studies and conflict resolution student association are committing ourselves to educate a child under the child of peace project and we seek your support in this regard.
On this note ladies and gentlemen, I therefore urge every Non-Governmental Organizations, community associations, higher institutions,secondary and primary schools (both private and government), all corporate and multi-national establishments, private companies, government agencies and ministries, student union/associations,individuals and all well meaning residents of our beloved Nigeria to take upon themselves to atleast, educate a child (in addition to their own children). Let us all spare little from our limited resources to educate a child and give him or her a reason to dream.
If anyone among us today support the EDUCATE A CHILD PROJECT, if we commit to this project in what ever capacity, such individual shall not only be considered as the owner of the project, he or she can proudly say, I am educating a child.
We urge everyone of us present here today to spread the message of peace and support the peace studies and conflict resolution student association to educate a child by donating and contributing to the child of peace project.
Thank you and God bless you.
Written by AMB. Abdulrazaq O Hamzat.