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By: Oluwatosin Adesola
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has called on governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to return full free education to primary and secondary in Ondo state in the interest of the less privileged children.
Speaking on the occasion of the 2019 Children’s celebration, the NANS President, Comrade Danielson Bamidele-Akpan, noted that if late Sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo could successfully implement free education in the old western region, Mr Akeredolu should not give excuse for adequate funding of the sector.
The NANS President advised the Ondo state government to reintroduce payment of WEAC fees for students, which the present administration abolished two years ago.
The Students’ body said the Universal Basic Education Scheme should be restructured and repositioned to meet present challenges and realities as a nation.
“John W. Whitehead, a human rights activist and civil liberties advocate said “Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see”, unfortunately many of our leaders today represent that message sent by Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Former Premier of the western region who invested in his time a whooping N4.8bn in education. That amount today runs into trillions of Naira and about 30% of the total budget as at then”.
“One of such beneficiaries of Pa Awolowo’s gargantuan investment in education, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, Governor of Ondo state, sadly has halted the tradition continued by his predecessors and seek to commercialize education in the state, thereby putting basic education out of the reach of the ordinary Ondo indigenes”.
He said, “I want to reiterate that the leadership of NANS under my watch will continue to stand with the good people of Ondo state, until the anti-people education policies of governor Akeredolu is reversed. Governor Akeredolu must revert to free basic education in the state, return to paying WAEC fees in the State and restore the Mother and Child initiative of his predecessor, Olusegun Mimiko”.
“We are committed to playing our role as a pressure group to push for good governance at all levels and as an Association, to protect the interest of our members in Nigeria and across the globe”, Bamidele-Akpan said.
“Children’s Day is here again. It’s the time of the year when we get to celebrate these amazingly cute gifts, that only God gives, especially as important members of our association and our country”.
“Nigerian children have excelled despite numerous challenges, one prominent in recent times is Tanitoluwa Adewunmi, an eight year old Nigerian made international headlines when he emerged Chess champion. He is the story of the excellent spirit of the Nigerian child”.
“The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) on the occasion of this year’s international children’s day, call on the federal government, state governments and local governments to increase funding for education, most importantly, basic education where we have the notorious record of having the highest number of out of school children in the world. Basic education is the foundation upon which any education structure is built and can determine greatly the future of its people”, Bamidele-Akpan said.