Mr Kayode Ajiga, Chairman Steering Committee Accounting Class of 97, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, has appealed to the Federal Government to focus more on inclusive education saying this was a precursor to national development.
Ajiga said this in Abuja at the 25 years anniversary and reunion of the Alumni Association.
He said that improving the country’s education was a collective responsibility, while charging members of the alumni association to take it upon themselves as their duty in educating a child.
According to him, doing this will translate into having a literate nation.
” Education as we all know is the key to national development, hence the need for an inclusive, quality and equitable education for every Nigerian child regardless of social status, race, gender, religion and physical ability.
” Quality and inclusive education is a precursor to economic mobility, growth and development of any nation and sadly, we are far from this ideal.
” The government at all levels must look at this area critically to make sure that every Nigerian child have quality education for an improved future,” he said.
Ajiga also expressed worry at the spate at which many Nigerian children were excluded from quality education resulting into a huge number of out-of-school children.
” It is worrisome to note that the UNICEF report revealed that one in every five children in Nigeria is excluded from education. Also, in the low and lower-middle income countries, around 40 per cent of children with disabilities are out-of-school at primary level and 55 per cent at the lower secondary level.
” It is however sad to note that Nigeria is not excluded from this figures.
” Also, worthy of note is the dilapidated infrastructural facilities in our schools as well as effective policy that would drive transformation in the education sector.
“I think knowledge is really democratised today and everyone should have access to that. I challenge my fellow old students to do more for our school,” he said.
Also, the Guest Lecturer, Dr Joseph Onyabe, from the Federal Montage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) said that educational system must return to its old glory where quality and standard was the order of the day.
Onyabe, who is also a lecturer in the Accounting Department, ABU Zaria, noted that schooling in the 90s was better off when compared to what was obtainable now due to the students, teachers ratio.
” The level of tertiary education was extremely high at that time, I’m sure those who listen to some of the speeches made earlier will agree with me that the students at that time may be because of the lower number had better attention from the lecturers.
” The students lecturer ratio was very adequate, so as a result of that the students were able to get enough time, students had enough time to meet their lecturers and ask questions where they did not understand those things that were treated and that has permitted all other areas in education.
” This is also because the good education they had equally affected the National Youth Service and equally affected the jobs that they did after completing their National Youth Service,” he said.
Onyabe thanked God for blessing the accounting set of 97 which he was fortunate to teach, said that his students were all doing well in their chosen field of endeavours.
” I am super excited to see my ex-students doing well in their various endeavours, that the fact that they’ve been able to come together and keep that unity is something that I think other people, other classes will need to emulate.
” This is because this is the first class that I’ve been invited to attend and I’m not sure that the other classes have been as organised as this one,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hajia Binta Nadada, CEO Bahaz Crafts Ltd. called on stakeholders to harness the various resources of the country in creating better jobs for the teeming population.
Nadada, who is also an old student of the school, urged the government to create more awareness about opportunities the youths could access to make them independent.
She said it was high time Nigerian rode on the gains of the country’s huge population by harnessing the abundant human resources to source for locally made materials for production.
“When you look around, there are a lot of people graduating from the universities and Polytechnics waiting for jobs, it shouldn’t be that way.
” We re supposed to look inward and see how we can contribute our own quota personally in developing the country, so I decided to be an employer and not an employee.
“People also say that they don’t have capital to start businesses, you don’t need capital to start business, all you only need the passion , if the passion is there, the business will pick up then the capital now comes later to fuel the business .
” There are a lot of things that the government is doing as par helping entrepreneurs but they are not creating awareness because a lot of things are going on that people don’t know about,” he said.
Nadada, however, called on civil servants to look inward and establish their own business so that they could create an avenue of employing graduates and collectively unemployment would be reduced to the barest minimum.