The Chairman, National Steering Committee of Joint Education Stakeholders Action Coalition (JESAC) Education and 2023 elections, Mr Ike Onyechere, has called on the presidential candidates to address the issues of safe schools in their various manifestos.
Onyechere was speaking at the first JESAC Conference when highlighting the Report on Assessment of Education Agenda/Manifesto of Presidential Candidates in Abuja on Thursday.
He said none of the presidential candidates had expressed any concern or proposed plans for the rescue of the Chibok, Dapchi and many other school girls in the captivity of terrorists.
According to him, over 120 students of Chibok, Birni Yauri, Dapchi, Bethel, and so on are still being held captive by terrorists and kidnappers, some lasting for almost eight years now.
“The most shocking thing about the 2023 election manifestos and campaigns is that none of the presidential candidates has proposed plans for the rescue of these students.
“Beyond the issue of the kidnapped students still in captivity, none of the manifestos, specifically addressed the issue of safe schools or proffered any clear roadmap on how to make school environments safe and secure for teaching and learning.
“They presented no plans to enforce the domestication and institutionalisation of safe school emergency preparedness and response systems.
“The manifestos are silent on how to combat campus cultism that have turned tertiary institutions to virtual war zones and on how to stop its alarming spread to primary and secondary schools,” he said.
He said the proposals for funding education outlined in the manifestos lacked the expected creativity in terms of structure, institutionalisation, sustenance and the multidimensionality required to properly provide and equip educational institutions with infrastructure.
He added that the committee was set up to mobilise education stakeholders to move away from being passive political observers to being proactive political playmakers and game changers.
He, therefore, called on education stakeholders to leverage on their brain power, networks, organisational skills and population to bond, work and vote together to elect competent, visionary, ethics-friendly and educationally-friendly political leaders.
He said that voting for leaders who would invest the courage, political will and resources needed to transform the education sector would be of advantage to the sector.
Also, Dr Jacinta Ogboso, the Director of Examination, Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), said that there was a need for political leaders to tackle the problems of quality in the educational sector.
Ogboso said that once the issue of quality was addressed, other problems associated with the sector would be tackled.
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