Senate

The National Association of Seadogs (NAS), Pyrates Confraternity, Sahara Deck, says plans are underway to sponsor more than 50 vulnerable children on the streets of Abuja to their elementary education.

Mr Victor Ofili, Capoon Sahara Deck, Abuja City Centre, made this known at the NAS 2021 Feast of barracuda Conference, held on Saturday in Abuja, with the theme “Education in times of conflict: The Nigerian experience.”

He said that Nigerian education is currently facing crisis in term of insecurity bedeviling some parts of the country, and that this has affected so many facets of lives.

Ofili said that the association in its little way will contribute its quota by eliminating the pains in the face of the vulnerable in the camp of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP), Abuja, and see how the children will go back to school.

“We are working to send some children back to school, although, school are also not safe for now, we know to a large extent in Abuja, we still have children who are on the streets, we still have children in the IDP camp who are not going to school.

“We want to see how many of them we can touch their lives, we are looking at 50 and above to start with, that is what our ‘Save the children and adopt a child project’ is all about’’.

“We have our strategic plan of action to sustain this, we are looking at sustaining this for the next five years, we are going to partner with International agencies like UNICEF and Plan International,’’ Ofili said.

Mr Abiola Owoaje, NAS Capoon, stated that the conflict in some parts of Nigeria which he said has battered and affected the education of many is a thing of concern for the association.

He said that quite a number of children have been forgotten because of crisis, especially those ones from the North-East and South East as a result of the sit-at-home order, noting that many people are not allowed to go to school.

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He said that many children are missing out on education they need to have, and that many of them who had this traumatic experience are also being kidnapped, and so some of them had vowed not to go back to school because of their experiences.

“No one is giving these children the care they require to ensure they overcome this situation,’’ he said.

Owoaje said that the association would work towards engaging government to put up policies that would look after the situation of the vulnerable, the background of the crisis that led to their situation and possible solutions.

He said that the association would also give suggestions to the people in authority on the best way to cater for the vulnerable, adding that their policy would be presented in form of paper to the government.

Dr Tochukwu Okeke, a Senior Lecturer, Department of History and Diplomatic Studies, University of Abuja, who spoke in line with the theme of the conference, admitted that school curriculum was now becoming obstolete.

He advocated for a new curriculum in the Nigerian school system that would match up with the 21st century ideas, saying that Nigerians are still living in the dark with the present curriculum.

“The essence of education is to deliver skills and capacity that will enable people function productively in the society, so if we have a society of the 21st century with new realities, it is no longer necessary for us to continue to apply 1920 century ideas.

“This will not work, we need new set of ideas that will be enshrined into the curriculum in order to make it relevant to build a constructive and productive society in the 21st century. This is my reason for advocating for curriculum review,’’ he said.

Dr Abdul-Majeed Dahiru, the keynote speaker at the conference who is also a newspaper columnist and a public affairs analysts, urged the government to ensure that Nigerian education system is restructured to promote growth of the country.

He said that Nigerian education is no longer seen to push for development which the country is currently yearning for.

He called for more allocation of resources to the education sector to drive development, adding that there is the need to review the 6-3-3-4 system, adding that the system has failed the country.

Mr Agba Jalingo, a renowned journalist and activist, called on the government to eliminate the issue of bribing and sorting in the school system, which he said has lowered the standard of education.

He suggested ways of tackling this menace by first discouraging parents from giving bribes and encouraging their children to put in their best in whatever field they find their selves in school.

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