Advocates task Sen. Oluremi Tunibu, wives of Govs. on child friendly projects
By EricJames Ochigbo
Project Hope Alive, an NGO, has urged the wife of President, Sen. Oluremi Tinubu and all the wives of states governors in the country to adopt child friendly pet projects.
The Founding Director, Amb. Chibuzo Okereke made the call on Friday in Abuja on the sideline of the 2023 Day of the African Child celebration with the theme “The Right of the Child in a Digital Environment.
Okereke said that Project Hope Alive, as a way of celebrating the African child, adopts and supports a school annually since 2016.
He explained that Day of the African Child is set aside to highlight the challenges faced by the African child and galvanise stakeholders commitment to protect and promote the welfare of the african child.
According to him, African children face huge challenges which ranges from war, terrorism, banditry among others.
Okereke said that Nigeria has over 20 million out-of-school children with five million living in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps while others like Leah Sharibu are in the hands of terrorists.
He said that a lot of primary schools are in dilapidated conditions with challenging learning environment.
“We are also being faced with the issue of digital poverty; if you look at the African child and the schools, a lot of them are not digital compliant.
“As the world is moving into the Artificial Intelligence (AI) era, Nigeria is still yet to cope with traditional technology to support education.
“We are using the Day of the African Child to highlight these issues and acknowledge that the right of a child is a fundamental right that every stakeholder must support and promote.
“We want all the wives of the governors and the wife of the President to adopt child-friendly pet projects under this new dispensation.
“We do not have the institutional framework that specifically focuses on promoting and protecting children but we have everything for the adult.
“We need for the children, we want all the pet project of the wives of the governor to be child friendly and focused on the children,” he said.
A member of the 9th House of Representatives, Rep. Nicholas Ossai and Chairman of the occasion, said that the Federal Government should take control of funding primary schools.
He said that leaving primary schools in the hands of Local Government councils has not help issues concerning children especially in terms of funding.
“Our primary schools are in bad shape, even this schools where we are having this programme, most of the classrooms have no chairs.
“If a child cannot sir down properly and we are talking about digital space, it means we have a very long way to come and these children should be able to meet up with those in other climes and that is not fair to them.
“During our time, we abstractly learn about computers without seeing any, it shows a bad style or education.
“I am happy that a lot of issues are coming up and I think it should be a collaborative effort between the government and the parents because parents must contribute to child development.
“A legislation should be able to streamline it so I am calling on Sen. Godswill Akpabio, President of the Senate and Rep. Tajudeen Abbas, Speaker of the House of Reps to look into the primary school issues.
“So that at the end of the day, when the foundation is solidly built, you will not see student come to cheat in secondary schools, they won’t even think about it that people can cheat in the university and so people will be doing things right,” he said.
Also, Rep. Bamidele Salam (PDP-Osun) said that the place of children in national development cannot be over emphasised.
“As government and major stakeholders we have a responsibility to make sure that we provide the most conducive environment for children to go and learn.
“That includes the physical environment, the cultural environment for children to learn and be able to grow.
“We also need to direct our minds to the need to prepare our children for tomorrow; all children today are leaders in the future and so the preparation as government is that which enable them to fit into the global economy and the world outlook to let them play actively role in the next 10 years when they are done with their education,” he said.
One of the pupils of LEA Model Primary School, who spoke with newsmen, Chukwudi Chikamso said technology had become the backbone of socio-economic and political success.
He said it helps children to keep with the demands of their future, stressing the need for all stakeholders to invest in digital learning for children.
“Technology has been used to benefit us all especially in the area of education, with the help of digital technology, education has become more engaging, dynamic and flexible.
“Further more, with digital learning, schools no longer pay for textbooks or stationeries, instead, digital learning provides learning materials at a much lower cost,” he said.
Project Hope Alive in collaboration with some guests at the ceremony donated the sum of N500,000 to the house to support its activities.
They also donated textbooks, writing materials, mathematical sets among other learning tools to the school.
The children trilled guests at the event with different cultural dances, spoken words, debate and a parade session. (NAN)