Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar says Nigeria’s educational system and policy require urgent review for the nation to pull through the stranglehold of abject poverty.
Atiku stated this in Abuja when he received a delegation from NURU International, a US-based social venture that equips the poor living in remote, rural areas to end extreme poverty in their communities.
The organisation is currently engaged in interventionist programmes in war-ravaged communities in Adamawa state.
The APC chieftain told the delegation that a retooled education system that would emphasise functional and problem-solving strategies remains the way to go if the war against poverty is to be won.
According to him, with functional education, the high incidence of school dropouts will be reduced while products of secondary education on graduation would have acquired skills that would serve as their source of income for life.
The Waziri Adamawa recalled that Nigeria and Nigerians benefited from such an educational system in the past but that things changed after the civil war when the country adopted an education system that mainly took interest in producing candidates for the universities and not for other levels of higher education.
He explained that in the past, incidences of school dropouts was low because there were government colleges, secondary schools, technical schools and craft centres which provided spaces for primary school leavers to continue their educational pursuits based on their respective intellectual/mental ability and capabilities.
I remember that in the 1960s in Northern Nigeria, all students sit for one examination and their performance determines where they will be placed for further education. Everyone is accommodated within the four levels of higher education that was available then and this reduced the incidence of school dropout to its barest minimum.
The founder of American University of Nigeria and AUN Academy in Adamawa state further said that it is not every secondary student that is “a university material” adding that there is need to ensure secondary school leavers are armed with skills through which they could earn a living and raise families.
According to him, if the school leavers do not acquire knowledge and skill to engage their energies on graduation, they become willing and available tools for anti-social activities which could manifest in youth restiveness as being witnessed in the country.topics from