By Emmanuel Oloniruha
Mrs Grace Okorie, the Proprietress of D’Green Grace Academy, Jikwoyi, Abuja, has urged all tiers of government to tackle insecurity and poverty, to address the high rate of out-of-school children in the country.
Okorie said this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) during the 2023 graduation ceremony of the school, on Saturday, in Abuja.
She said that poverty, hunger and insecurity contributed to the high rate of out-of-school children in the country.
“It is not just about getting the students off the streets and back to school, it is also because of poverty index.
“If you get the children back to school and the parents cannot afford food to eat, they will pull the children out, then to the streets to hawk for them to eat.
“If government can address the poverty level, it will go a along way to address the menace,” she said.
Okorie added that if government could also address insecurity, it would enhance the education system of the country.
“Insecurity is a general issue. The truth is that even parents most times are scared of sending their children to school.
This is “because sending your child to school, a whole lot could happen to that child, it is either the child is kidnapped or riot breaks out in the area.
“Government should really look into insecurity issue,” she said.
The proprietress, however, urged President Tinubu to take a second look into the Students Loan Bill he recently signed into law, especially the criteria to accessing the loan.
“I have read through the conditions. If you know somebody who is a director, I think you don’t really need a loan because the person should be able to help you.
“The people who need this loan are poor people who knows nobody.”
Okorie added that instead of loan, government should make education generally affordable.
She also urged government to put strict measures to curb examination malpractices in schools.
She said that D’Green Grace Academy was committed to bringing out the best of every child, morally, educationally, socially and spiritually.
“We believe that no matter how a child is, if you have the right teaching techniques you can bring out the best in him or her.
“We also believe that school is not just about reading and writing, it also involves teaching morals, especially in a society where we have moral decadence,” she said.
Okorie also advised parents to do their best to instill moral values in the minds of their children at the tender age and be an example to them.
“An adage says charity begins at home. So, we expect the parents to discipline their children rightly. When I say discipline, it does not necessarily mean flogging a child.
“There are other ways to discipline the child that you don’t even need to flog him. When you train the mind of the child, the child knows what is right and wrong from the very tender age.”
The Chairman of the Parents/Teachers Association (PTA) of the school, Mr Zitta Wilfred, advised parents to continue to invest in the future of their wards through education.
He said that through education, values would be added to the lives of children, who would in turn impact on the society and the nation.
“Lack of proper education is one of the reasons we have the issue of kidnapping, boko haram and other social menace,” Wilfred said.
The Chairman of the occasion, Mr Bestman Menekpugni, while congratulating the grandaunts, encouraged them to remember the values the school had instilled in them while going into the larger society and higher academic pursuit.
“To the parents, no matter how God has blessed you, I want to say your children in elementary schools have no need for smart phone until they gain admission into higher institutions, because it destroys them faster than their pairs in school,” he said.
On behalf of the grandaunts, Miss Zitta Israel appreciated their parents for investing in their future.
Israel also appreciated their alma mater for equipping them with sound education and skill needed to face the new phase of their lives and to excel in the future.
NAN reports that highlights of the occasion include presentation of awards and certificates to the grandaunts, grammar coach, chorography, cutting of cake.
Others are debate on “the real cause of Nigeria’s problem – government of the citizens”, spelling bee, British accent, cultural dance, vocabulary coach and spoken words.(NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Nkiru Ifeajuna/Idris Abdulrahman