Story by: Jesuwale Steven
“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” The Holy Bible could not have captured the momentous significance of education in a more graceful phrase than it did in the book of Proverbs chapter 22 verse 6.
Going by the brilliant phrase, the Bible could not be mistaken for recognizing the essence of education in the life a child. In this regard, God identifies with the place of learning to the growth and well-being of a child.
Without an inch of doubt, it is imperative that education is an integral ingredient needed in molding the mental adeptness of a child. In similar terms, mental capacity of each child is determined by his exposure to education.
If so, why is the Nigerian child consistently denied of education? Why has the government kept mum to the basic needs of the Nigerian child? Too many questions begging for answers, yet no hopeful response in sight!
It has become an illustrious phenomenon that poor education is one of the aching challenges facing an average Nigerian child. Most of which can be likened to the negligence of the Nigerian parent, poor educational policies, lack of proper education system and the visible I-don’t-care attitude of the Nigerian government.
Although, poverty has become an epidemic in our society, so many parents blame their incompetence on governments’ inability to install working policies that will grow and ensure economic stability in the country. Rather than expose the child to basic education, they exploit and subject the child to untold labour.
In this sense, the child takes up the responsibility of assisting the family in raising money by hawking on the streets.
This is the precarious state the Nigerian child is left to face.
According to the Child’s Rights Act 2003, a child has a right to basic universal primary education. Today, it almost seem like the right to primary education has strayed in the limbo of lost dreams.
We absolutely cannot begin to outline the essence of education; that would be tantamount to asking the usefulness of oxygen to animals.
As such, a child who is educated has a sense of belonging in the social strata and at any level, as he is able to have a say in the society irrespective of what they turn out to become in future.
Globally, education is considered a fundamental human right that should be accorded to all and sundry. Little wonder UNICEF in one of its aims stipulated that an average child should go through a basic form of education and be a proud product of the society in which he exist.
The first and perhaps the greatest challenge facing Nigeria and making it difficult for good quality education that is capable of bringing about sustainable development in the society is inadequate funding by federal, state and local governments.
To this effect, the government should provide accessible basic education for the less privileged and a conducive learning environment that would help manage the rising spate of child illiteracy in Nigeria.