• Edo has least out-of-school children in Nigeria – Commissioner

‘Seun Ibukun-Oni

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, on Thursday, bemoaned increasing number of the out-of-school children in Nigeria, describing them as potential Boko Haram recruits.

Obasanjo said this while addressing participants at the presidential youth mentorship retreat held at Youth Development Centre , Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, Ogun State.

He pointed out that with about 14 million out of school children roaming Nigerian streets, no one needs an oracle to know that those children would turn to Boko Haram recruits in the next ten years.

Obasanjo said the rate of the dropouts would expand insecurity in Nigeria.

He said “A situation today where we have 14 million children that should be in school that are not in school , does anybody need to be an oracle to tell that 10 years or 15 years from now, those will be where you will recruit pure Boko Haram.

“So, if you deal with Boko Haram by stick today in few years time the situation will be worst because we are talking about security, it will be worst. So, if we are talking of insecurity, where should we begin? If we are talking of poverty where should we begin? It is education.

” Somebody said if everybody is educated who will be a servant and I said if everybody is educated then we will get a better servant than you should have gotten from those that are not educated.”

The former president maintained that the unity of Nigeria is paramount, stressing that he would fight for the unity of Nigeria throughout his life.

He said, “If I was a Yoruba leader, I would not have succeeded as I succeeded for Nigeria, I might have succeeded for the Yorubas. Your brother from South East is right, I believed that every Nigerian is more respected in the committee of nations if Nigeria remains.

“Don’t let us deceive ourselves, will people still respect us because of our population, 200 million people, you cannot just waste them , even when I go out, people will say you Nigerians are not at the table and that is true, we are not at the table when we should be at the table.

“I have no regret for fighting for the unity of Nigeria and if it comes up tomorrow that it should be done and I have ability to do it, I will do what I have to do. I believed that the last thing is not in our fighting for the unity of this country is in subsequent leadership that we have.”

Edo has least out-of-school children in Nigeria – Commissioner

Meanwhile, the Edo State Commissioner for Education, Dr. Joan Osa Oviawe, has said that the State has the lowest number of out-of-school children in Nigeria as a result of the State Government’s commitment to basic education.

Oviawe made this known during the 23rd quarterly meeting of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) Management with the executive chairmen of State Universal Basic Education Boards (SUBEB) in Benin City, the state capital.

The Commissioner while speaking with journalists, said the feat was not achieved overnight as it took the State Government’s consistent efforts to realise the vision which has made the State to rank high in the level of literacy among the comity of States in the country.

She stated that such interventions of the State Government included the training of 11,356 teachers and monitors on the use of technology for teaching and learning; the construction of 204 classrooms; the distribution of 37,629 sets of furniture as well as 10 million learning materials since the inception of the Edo State Basic Education Sector Transformation (EdoBEST) programme.

“The buildings are of standard and of good aesthetic values which is capable of attracting the pupils to desire learning. The classroom ambiences coupled with the modern teaching methods are approaches to motivate the pupils in learning.

“The old culture of corporal punishment has been done away and replaced with motivational discipline where intelligence and hard work are rewarded but the otherwise is counseled,” she explained.

The Commissioner, who pledged to deliver high on her new appointment, said her previous engagement as the chairman, Edo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) has prepared her for optimum achievements.