By Ruth Oketunde
The British charity, IA-Foundation has advised the Nigerian government to review its education policy to embrace soft skills, to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
The founder and Chief Executive Officer of the foundation, Mrs Ibironke Adeagbo, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday.
She said that embracing soft skills was necessary in the education policy of the country for the masses to depend less on white-collar jobs and acquire skills that would make them to overcome the challenges of the current century.
According to her, Nigeria should revamp its education curricula to reflect present day realities and embrace soft skills, entrepreneurial skills and digital know-hows to make youths to survive present day challenges.
Adeagbo noted that colonial legacies in the education sector had left Nigeria rudderless in its education and other developmental aspirations, saying the way forward was for the West African country to overhaul its education policy completely.
She condemned a call attributed to the Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye that Nigerian children should be made to get involved in industrial production and urban development of Nigeria.
Kennedy-Ohanenye reportedly made the call on Sept. 8 in Awka, Anambra, while speaking at the Anambra State Summit, staged by the state government to foster development in the state.
Adeagbo, who has been campaigning to have every Nigerian child in school, argued that involving children in industrial production was a clear violation of Nigeria’s Child Rights Act 2003.
She re-stated that Nigeria should put measures in place to take back its 20.2 million children currently out of school back to classrooms, to secure the future of the country.
“I am shocked to hear the suggestion by the minister, calling for children to be involved in production of toothpicks. This is unacceptable.
“We are supposed to be protecting the rights of children in Nigeria in line with the Child Rights Acts 2003 and not propagating suggestions that will subject children to child labour and other forms of activities that will keep them out of classrooms,” Adeagbo said.
She, however, lauded the Federal Government for expressing its commitment to tackle the out-of-school crisis, saying that no Nigerian child deserved to be left uneducated in the 21st century.
“With over 100 children already in school as a result of our work, we will not relent until the last child gets into school,’’ Adeagbo added.
IA-Foundation which was established in 2019 has been active in Nigeria, where it has been campaigning vigorously to ensure that every child, especially the girl-child had access to education. (NAN)(www.nanews.ng)
Edited by Silas Nwoha