ILD: Former minister seeks improved conditions of learning for children

By Oluwatosin Odusanya

10 September 2022   |   3:50 am

Former Minister of Transport and Aviation, Dr. Kema Chikwe, has urged government at all levels in the country to focus more on learning conditions of Nigerian children, saying schools that are below standards should be shut down and sanctioned.

Dr. Kema Chikwe

Former Minister of Transport and Aviation, Dr. Kema Chikwe, has urged government at all levels in the country to focus more on learning conditions of Nigerian children, saying schools that are below standards should be shut down and sanctioned.

 

In a statement yesterday to mark this year’s International Literacy Day, which has the theme, ‘Transforming Literacy Learning Spaces’, the former minister noted that despite the gloomy forecast on Nigeria’s literacy rate, the country must keep pushing forward.

 

The statement read in part: “In celebrating the International Literacy Day this year, my heart goes out to children who do not have the privilege of access to education and those who go to school under unbearable conditions due to poverty and environmental factors.

“Government, at all levels, needs to focus more on learning conditions of Nigerian children.  Schools that do not fulfill the stipulated standards of physical structures, hygiene standards, tutelage from qualified personnel, safety that allows for focus and other key aspects, should be shut down and sanctioned to deter such cases from reoccurring.

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“Individual human, intellectual and social development depend solely on the exposure offered by educational facilities.

“The word ‘transformation’ has become generic in the Nigerian socio-political lexicon. However, its implementation has sadly remained illusive.

 

“Nigeria’s literacy rate in 2018 was reported as 62.02 per cent, which was an increase of 10.94 per cent from 2008. With this slow rate, achieving SDG 4.6 for quality education by 2030 seems a rather ambitious feat.

 

“However, this gloomy forecast must not deter us. Progress is progress, regardless of its pace. So, as a nation, we must keep pushing forward, regardless.

 

“This must all change. Literacy Learning Spaces must be transformed, by the will of the government and the people; and above all, by God’s grace.

 

“May this year’s International Literacy Day introduce a new beginning of improved educational standards and consequently, living standards. This is my charge and my prayer.”

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