By Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III and several scholars have made a strong case for the development of Day Secondary School education in Nigeria, saying the lack of attention given to it is responsible for some of the decadence in Nigeria today.
They spoke Monday in Abuja at the unveiling of a book, ‘Evolution of Day Secondary School in Nigeria’, written by Dr Yakubu Gambo.
The former president who was represented by the Vice-Chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) Prof. Olufemi Peters, described secondary education as a bridge between primary and tertiary education.
“Therefore, it is a make or mar stage that determines whether the beginner shall indeed progress and attain the widely accepted level of advancement and refinement to the league of the learned, which higher education confers.
“Many of us could not have progressed into higher education in Universities or Polytechnics without having made at least, an average grade in a secondary school. The quality of secondary education is so critical that it decides whether or not a child advances to the peak of his/her educational pursuit or not.
“Historically, secondary education in a boarding school is no doubt expensive and beyond the reach of many families. In the early days of formal education in our country, many families were into subsistence farming or other trades in which children play an important role.”
While commending the author of the book, Chief Obasanjo said it promises to set the tone for policy review and indeed an overhaul of the curriculum of the country’s educational system “which has suffered an erosion of quality especially at the secondary level, as we have seen in the performance of candidates who seek admission into Universities in recent times; and to curb the gradual neglect and abandonment of the teaching of our history and culture, without which a nation loses its identity in a new and evolving global order.”
Also speaking, the Sultan of Sokoto who was represented by the Emir of Wase, Dr Mohammed Sambo Haruna, lamented the neglect of education by parents, saying there was a need for “us to give our children the due attention they deserve”.
“On behalf of our leaders, I am appealing to everyone (parents) to go back and do the needful. We need to go back and give our wards the attention they deserve.
“Some of the vices in our society today is because we have no relationship with our wards.”
For the book reviewer and Pro-Chancellor, University of Abuja, Prof. Ahmed Mohammed Modibo, the new publication should be read by all and sundry, especially policymakers at all levels to know the real challenges confronting day Secondary education in Nigeria.
On his part, the author of the book, Dr Yakubu Gambo, said the current administration has taken some steps to improve the quality of day secondary school but it should be improved upon.
According to him, one of the objectives of writing the book is to generate and sustain attention on Secondary and basic education in Nigeria.
Others represented at the event were Yobe state governor, Hon. Mai Mala Buni, Plateau state governor, Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong, Minister of Education Adamu Adamu among others.