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Children's Day

Children's Day, Nigeria. Another 27th Day in the month of May has approached and children (but not all parents) are overjoyed when it approaches. No school. What could be better than finally getting a break from that laborous mathematics class; or from that economics teacher who bores us to sleep?

Joy wouldn't feel so good if it weren't for pain, neither would education feel so relevant, if one hasn't experienced the bitter taste of ignorance. Sadly, that's what 10 million Nigerian children are going through - or more likely, not.

According to Vanguard, a Nigerian daily newspaper

Over 40 per cent of them [Nigerian children] will celebrate on the street; without access to basic education as economic and socio-cultural factors keep over 10.1 million of the 35.6 million children aged between six and 14, out of schools.Apparently, of a total of 24,662,087 children, 7,298,817 were not receiving formal education in the country three years ago. Also, 200,630 and 168,795 of the total boys and girls respectively, dropped out of school.

The factors that kept the children out of schools were grouped into economic, socio-cultural and supply side barriers and bottlenecks. Government and political influence, especially in the capacity of government to implement education policies as well as politicisation of basic education, equally affected the magnitude of the problem.
Listing poverty, cultural and religious barriers in the north, poor quality of education leading to dissatisfaction from parents, and opportunity cost as parents would rather have their children make extra money through hawking. And the recent reduction of university entrance cut off marks by the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to 180 over a total score of 400 for universities and 160 for polytechnic entrants, the state of the Nigerian education sector screams for help.

The sad thing is, people are happy! The educational system of an entire nation can't seem to lay solid foundations for it's people and gives them leeway to get accepted into universities without bothering to develop and chanllenge these young, vibrant minds.

Comments

Cali gal Michelle's picture

a reflection...

Good to read your thoughts....and most children here in the U.S. complain that they have to go to school. They just don't have that perspective that would allow greater appreciation for what opportunities they have and will have. However, education monies are not what they should be, and teachers are not compensated enough, leading to some teachers leaving and doing something else. Educational opportunity is a great thing for children, and adults, to have here. But we are far from the perfect model!

It would be great if teachers were the highest paid, not attorneys and financiers, etc. It would also be nice for your country and others, if the parents could be compensated for allowing their children to be educated in place of using them to make money.

I don't know what the financial solution is, but I encourage you to keep searching and fighting for educational rights and policy. Your community is lucky to have you!

Peace and Hope-
Michelle
aka: Cali gal

Listener
Sister-Mentor
@CaliGalMichelle
facebook.com/caligalmichelle

udoka29's picture

Thanks Michelle!

Your words are encouraging.

Children who have the opportunity to go to school ALWAYS complain about it, I know I did! But then, the teachers weren't very interested in teaching as much. Most were thinking about how their families would have to survive through meager salaries (that is, if the government didn't find some excuse NOT to pay them).
It's sad, especially if one considers the reality that teachers have major influences in a child's life. They shape us. They are a huge part of our lives growing up, but they're constantly looked down upon here.
Compensating parents, especially the poor ones to bring their kids to school isn't a bad idea. The government is trying to pay would be mothers to attend ante-natal care, but in Nigeria, corruption rules and though things are done with the best intentions, eventually corruption and forgery will find its way to every idea, every system we implement for the greater good and turn it into another money making machine for the rotten fruit in Nigeria.

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