A CHILD was asked what he wishes to achieve which he had never enjoyed since the past years, and he answered, “I want Governor Obiano to buy me shoes, books and a car. A shoe I will wear to school with my car and books i will use to write in the school. I want to go to school like my friend. I don’t want to stay at home again.”
In bid to ensure that smiles are put on the faces of children this year 2019,National Light had an interaction with most children and their teachers to ascertain their new year resolutions, particularly as it relates to children in the country. These are their reactions and expectations.
Angel Aghanya, a class teacher said,” children are future leaders of tomorrow and hope of every nation. Without them in the society, there will be no prospective base for the country. They need all support from parents, guardian and government both at federal and state level. If they are not given proper support, it will affect them educationally, socially, morally and otherwise. When thereare illiterate and dormant children in the society, it means there is no future.
There are children who are highly talented and gifted in various skills to become somebody in life with or without basic education, but due to lack of good support by both the people and government, they could not go higher to actualize their dreams in life”, she started.
Aghanya further reaffirmed that, “some of these children come from very poor families and live with relatives or as housemaids since they are not lucky to find themselves in the school..My prayer is that government should try as much as possible to look out for such children for assistance. They cry for help every now and then, wishing support will come one day for their dreams to come through. If you take statistics, you will discover that 80 percent support only go to children who are from rich homes.
It is also worthy to note that there are underprivileged kids in Nigeria that are more intelligent, skillful and productive in one way or the other but due to circumstances beyond them, they could not be identified before others. No child is useless”.
” I am also praying that this year will be much better if government, parents and stakeholders would come together to ensure that the lives and welfare of these young ones are being provided up to the grassroots, ,avoiding sentiment but with commitment and dedication. Government should on the other hand, be able to adopt and implement a policy that will favour these kids both rich and poor to better their lives”, she added.
Chinyere Ugah, headmistress ,Olive Child’s School, Nibo, wishes that government would consider private schools by providing them with sports facilities. “Sports are good for both adults and children but if sports facilities are lacking, the aims and objectives of sports will not be achieved.
Again, the house to house routine immunisation in the country is very good. But a child who did not feed well cannot survive only by drugs. Some of these kids are from very poor homes, that they could not even eat before coming to school. So, administering drugs to them is not the best option. Food should be served to them before every other thing. I wish every other state in Nigeria will emulate this homegrown feeding programme adopted by Governor Willie Obiano, who knew and identified what it takes to improve and support children to the highest level.
I also implore the state government to extend his hands of fellowship in seeing that children both in private schools benefit from home grown feeding program going on in the state”.
Lois Okeke ,headmistress, St Lawrence Splendid Nursery and Primary School, Mbaukwu, emphasized,” security of children is Paramount more than anything else you can think of. Some schools are not fenced and can give room for strangers and kidnappers to intrude into the school premises while others schools don’t have school buses like most private schools across the nation.
Meanwhile, the food being served to government school pupils, often times, are not hygienic enough. If I may ask ,who are they supervising the water being used for the cooking, the environment where they prepare the food ,quantity of ingredients used, the cooking utensils before usage, among others? Even the plates, most times, are not neatly washed and children come to school with them. You see the cook dishing food inside it without rinsing those plates. So, it is not hygienic.
I plead with government to always assign someone who will be supervising how the services are being done and carried out to ensure the safety of these kids health wise.Government should endeavor to provide boreholes for government schools, as well for better hygienic services.
Another aspect government should put more energy is provision of school scholarship. There are children whose parents are very poor that they cannot afford sending or training their wards in school. If you are observant, you will notice that nowadays, schools are for the rich children.
Why? It’s because school fees are always high not to talk of private schools that regularly increase theirs unnecessarily. Reading materials are in high cost, as well as excessive demand on one item or the other, making it difficult for the poor ones to cope.
You can equally see this in government secondary school where a student will be asked to pay N200 for bazaar. What does church activity has for a child’s education? We also have series of drop outs of school children both in public and private schools. This set of people normally cause nuisance in the society if not engaged in any craft work”, she stated.”
“I suggest that government should provide entrepreneurship centres for such kind of children where they can go for intensive training so that they can be skillful to themselves and to the society they belong to. Such training should be free or affordable to enable them attend with full zeal just like Canada and China do to ensure that such children are useful to themselves. Government on the other hand, can introduce entrepreneurship as a subject in schools where students interested can obtain various skills to help themselves”.
Okeke prayed that “as we have entered into another new year, government should try take their time to visit schools to find out for themselves the plights of these students secretly and proffer solutions so that school authorities, both public and privates ones, will know they have no right to toy with parents and children through what they demand frequently from them and as well, put a stop to it to enable those that are from poor families fit in.
Furthermore, Ebubechukwu Onuorah,a secondary school student, pointed out that,” even though government is doing everything possible to ensure children are in school and in a conducive environment, students still face lots of challenges and it needs urgent attention”.
Most government secondary schools lack adequate science equipment for their practicals. It makes science studies difficult for students to learn, particularly as it relates to biology, physics and chemistry. Most schools also lack experienced science teachers and without a good teacher in the area, it will be difficult for students to understand the teaching.
There are also schools that lack laboratory and other infrastructures. Because of this, the estimated number of students in a class becomes hundred plus. And there will be no enough cross ventilations due to congestion. As a result of this, some principals take advantage of this to hike school fees.
So, I wish government will come to our rescue because it is now unbearable for us and even for our parents. I wish government will create time to visit some of these schools, particularly the ones in remote areas to supervise science schools, know how they are coping, verify how much students pay as their school fees, provide enough buildings that will be conducive for learning and with science facilities, as well as employ quality science teachers to enable students learn and understand better than ever”, he concluded.
Among other children that spoke was, Chiaghana Sorochukwu, a basic five pupil who is 10 years old. He prayed for wisdom and understanding to pass his examination this year.
“Government should provide more scholarship for children in Anambra State and help reduce our school fees even in private schools”.
Ifechukwu Okeke, a basic 6 pupil who is also 10 years old, stated that she doesn’t want to hear any bad news around children in the country.
“Government should provide enough security to protect children. I also want Nigeria to improve the health sector”.
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